Monster Hunter: World is suffering some blowback due to some questionable writing in the Monster Hunter movie. The action-RPG game is harbouring a wave of negative reviews on Steam because of a racist joke made in the picture.
In a thread on Twitter, Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad posted some footage of the dialogue for the movie, which has opened in China already, and ran-through why audience members are unhappy. In the scene, one character asks another “What kind of knees are these?” following up with “Chi-knees.” The pair are American soldiers, as the protagonists are a team of military recruits that get transported to the world of the games. As Ahmad explains, this joke has racial connotations due to a playground chant used to disparage people of Asian heritage in English-speaking countries.
Ahmad points out the use of a Chinese idiom in the subtitles has added to people’s disapproval. Capcom, the developer of the Monster Hunter games, has released a statement saying it will, according to Ahmad, “report the situation to the relevant film companies to investigate”. Amid all of this, the reviews on Steam for Monster Hunter: World are taking a nosedive. Nearly 2,000 negative reviews have been submitted in the last two days, some of them directly talking about the film, others memes, others edgelord nonsense. It’s an ugly scene.
Unsubstantiated reports have come in that Monster Hunter has stopped being shown in China, and this joke is being edited out in a recut.
Milla Jovovich’s lead character, Capt. Natalie Artemis, was recently revealed as part of a crossover between the film and Monster Hunter: World. The Paul W. S. Anderson-directed blockbuster will open in the US on December 25.