Movie Review – Monkey Man


After Kong x Godzilla last month you might feel a little bit Monkey’d out but the latest film from Dev Patel hopes you have taken a rest because not only did it take a lot to make but it is going to take a lot out of you to watch.

Monkey Man is the first time the star Dev Patel was behind the camera as well as directing it with the film being a passion project of his that actually started filming in early 2020 in Asia (that would be right before the Pandemic hit). Over the course of the pandemic and filming this action tale took a lot out of the main star with multiple broken bones before filming was completed. Originally heading to Netflix as an Indian John Wick, Jordan Peele saw an early cut of the film and acquired the rights from Netflix to get it a theatrical release.

The film itself is a fairly straight forward revenge story which has more in common with V for Vendetta than a bare-knuckle John Wick. With the unnamed protagonist (though the entire film, you can check) being the only survivor within his family of a land clearing massacre. We are introduced to the character as a cunning and driven individual with a plan to get revenge on those in power who killed his mother in front of him. BUT, this guy is not John Wick.

Within the first act we are introduced to the character and while he attempts his assassination plot we very quickly learn, while he may be a masked kickboxer for coin in a city riddled with crime and corruption he is more on the punching bag side. Within the early parts of the film the main characters anxiety and heart pounding fear are convincingly projected across to the level of if you are having a particularly anxious day beforehand you may need to a cleanser afterwards.

The early parts of the film demonstrate the level of passion and detail for the Indian culture coming through on the screen. The first two acts of this, even with some action early on could easily be confused with an arthouse film with a troubled protagonist, it isn’t until the last act that we get more of the bare-knuckled John Wick.

The final act is like another film almost with the action being quite kinetic and on par with any other Hollywood based action but a lot more brutal in pars. Definitely a one and done style story there is plenty to like here and a style of action that would not be out of place in earlier 00/90s Asian martial arts cinema for the way the hits land.

So should you go see it? Slightly a tricky answer as while this is very good it does require a certain type of mood  going in and for some the gap between the first and last act action may be a bit long. That said this is still a very good film and one of the top films you can see in cinemas right now. If you are after a flat-out revenge action flick that is more than just an action flick, put this on your watch list.

Monkey Man is in cinemas from Thursday April 4th

Andrew B

Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.

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Andrew B
Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.
movie-review-monkey-manMonkey Man is the sort of action flick that is bound to become a cult classic in a way that if Kickboxer had a baby with an Arthouse Film. Heavily influenced and set against Indian culture in a dirty crime riddled city this is an action revenge film that we just don't get that often. P.S. You do not need to wait out the entire credits when it ends.