Image: Sony Pictures

Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich launched their Monster Hunter movie in China this week, but instead of delighting fans of Capcom’s popular action-RPG franchise, all they did was piss a bunch of people off. As game industry analyst Daniel Ahmad reports (via Eurogamer), the writers decided to slip in a reference to a racist chant targeting Asians, which did not go unnoticed by Chinese audiences.

“What are my knees? What kind of knees are these? Chi-knees,” a soldier jokingly says at one point in the film. Critics say that this is a clear reference to “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees,” which, according to Wikipedia, is a “racist playground chant in English-speaking countries used to mock children of Asian origin.”

Capcom Asia has issued a statement attempting to distance themselves from the movie, but that hasn’t stopped Chinese gamers from review-bombing the franchise’s latest installment, Monster Hunter: World, on Steam as a means of airing their grievances about the live-action film. It also doesn’t help that Capcom already pledged their support for the movie by putting Milla Jovovich’s Artemis as a playable character in the game (she even provided voice work).

Monster Hunter is now being pulled from theaters in China, but contrary to earlier rumors about a revised cut, Variety is reporting that the movie may be banned entirely and not return to Chinese cinemas at all.

“[…] on Saturday morning local time, new leaked directives that Variety has not yet directly confirmed said that distribution of the DCP copies for the new version has also been suspended — indicating that the release of even a censored version is effectively halted,” the website reported.

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11 Comments

  1. Professionals used to understand who their audience was….

    That’s why every movie that comes out today is a waste of celluloid, if they were still using it. Because they are made safe to not offend anyone. Frankly if a movie upset someone I want to see it because it might actually not be trash.

    1. Exactly. No matter WHAT you do, somebody is going to be offended, so aside from directly and intentionally trying to cause harm to somebody (or somebody’s), the whole **** world needs to grow thicker skin. Actually harmful racism might be taken a lot more seriously if everybody wasn’t trying so hard to be offended by every little thing that comes off as even remotely race related.

      Honestly, what does it matter. It’s not like every race of people doesn’t do this exact thing to EVERY OTHER race of people, to some extent or other. Treat the serious racism seriously and ignore the rest of it. You just give small things a lot of power by blowing it up when it shouldn’t have been and as you say, a lot of what people these days make a big stink about makes me want to actually see it for myself because usually it turns out to be something that I can’t see any harm in.

      And I’m pretty woke when it comes right down to things of a serious nature, but some stuff is just people getting up in the morning INTENDING to find something to be offended about that day.

  2. I heard the term "Cracker" in "The Queen’s Gambit" .. I don’t think I was offended.

    ..Butt! .. it fit the scene/character/story .. the mentioned offensive dialogue just seems forced and unnecessary

    1. Exactly, they practically forced that into the dialogue when it didn’t need to be there, so they probably deserve to catch SOME flack for it. But for it to be taken to the level it has, with banning the movie or even making it a top news article, just ridiculous.

      Some epithets are necessary in some films, to maintain historical accuracy or authenticity, and being offended by those things is just stupid. They happened, that’s how things were THEN, and that’s how they should be portrayed. We shouldn’t bury out heads in the sand and pretend that in war or in the past things were not a certain way, but to do this kind of thing in a game based movie, when it didn’t need to be done, is just begging for the wrong kind of attention.

      Even so, I still don’t believe it’s ENOUGH of a fault to warrant this level of reaction.

  3. Just about every movie ever made has likely offended someone, somewhere. Hardly a criteria for judging the appeal of a movie, but to each their own.

    You are twisting words and the meaning of what I said, but to each their own. Of course there is always the one twitter dweller who finds somehing to be offended by, this is not that obviously. This is an entire country getting offended at a half second joke. Even if it is offending, who cares? Have we really lost all sense of self-irony?

    This is eerily similar to those danish cartoons, where the joke is on those who would defend those who want the heads of those daring to make the joke.

  4. Frankly if a movie upset someone I want to see it because it might actually not be trash.

    Just about every movie ever made has likely offended someone, somewhere. Hardly a criteria for judging the appeal of a movie, but to each their own.

    Not sure how I twisted words or their meanings, but I’m not in your brain so….

    Have we really lost all sense of self-irony?

    Apparently the people who went to see the movie in China and then review-bombed it on Steam don’t have that trait.

  5. I guess a "joke" like this its a lot about how its presented. I just don’t know how offensive this can be regardless, but if a terrible thing is written in such a way as to establish a character as villian scum (which will eventually get their karma), then in way these things are tools. Even then if its a red hot offensive thing, should probably be avoided regardless, there is plenty of ways to portray villainous scum.
    I don’t even understand the phrase used, its completely obscure to be.. makes me believe this was studied and consulted and either concluded to be a possible problem and shoved in anyway or erroneously believed to be okay somehow (probably cause it was used to portray scuminess?)
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