The Monster Hunter movie just came out in China, and it is not going so great.Less than 48 hours after it was released
, the movie was banned in China, the game's developers had to distance themselves from it, and Monster Hunter World got over 2,000 negative reviews, many of which specifically cite the movie as the reason behind the negative review.
So what exactly happened? Well, as revealed by a journalist going to a press screening of the movie, there's an early line where one soldier shouts to another "What are my knees? What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees". To the uninitiated, it sounds like a terrible play on words that doesn't even make much sense in context, but to Chinese audiences, they tied the "joke" to an old and incredibly offensive saying, and they got mad.
The movie was quickly pulled from Chinese box offices and replaced with a version where the line was removed, but by then, China had already banned the entire movie.
Which is a problem, because from the very beginning, director Paul W. S Anderson had made his intentions of making this as much a Chinese movie as an American one perfectly clear. So this is no doubt an incredibly heavy blow for the movie and every studio attached to it.
Capcom, as well, issued a statement saying they were removed from production and had nothing to do with the bad joke, but when you consider they also just announced a movie tie-in with Monster Hunter World
, their words rang a little hollow. In response, people started to review bomb the game: some of them angry at the racist joke in the movie, while others were angry at them for making a Chinese-focused movie. So it's pretty much pissed off people on both ends of the political spectrum, which is... impressive in its own way.
In any case, I think the popular opinion had always been that this movie would be a disaster, but I don't think anyone would have guessed this is how it would have happened.