Monkey Man (2024) English Movie Review

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‘Monkey Man’ is an action-packed movie set in present-day India. This film not only marks the directorial debut of Dev Patel, but rather interestingly actor Dev also plays the lead protagonist of action hero Kid in the film.

We have clubbed this movie in the Asian category, as this American film was shot mostly in Indonesia. In addition, the story is about the Kid, who is an Indian and his character is inspired by revered lord Hanuman.

The intention was to film in India in early 2020, but production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, filming took place in Indonesia in early 2021.

‘Monkey Man’ Gives Us A New ‘Action Star’ In ‘Dev Patel’

Trailer: Monkey Man (2024) Movie

Official Trailer – Monkey Man (2024) Movie – Universal Pictures | YouTube.

Synopsis: Monkey Man (2024) Movie

An anonymous young man unleashes a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systematically victimize the poor and powerless.

Spoiler Free Review: Monkey Man (2024) Movie

The introduction

More than a decade and a half ago, Dev Patel debuted with the Oscar® award-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Now Dev – the British actor has debuted as Director with the ‘Monkey Man’ and made an entertaining film set in India. Well, in this film, one of the antagonists is an Indian politician, who is dictatorial and divides the society. Incidentally, his supporters often chant ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ (BMKJ) during election rallies. After watching this English film that narrates a present-day Indian tale, we understand, why it was not released in India, especially during the ongoing election.

The movie is set in a fictional city named Yatana (यातना), a Sanskrit (Hindi) word meaning "endeavor/effort", "torment/agony" or "revenge".

The storyline/plotline

Dev Patel assumes the role of the Kid in Monkey Man, a character deeply influenced by the legend of Lord Hanuman. The kid’s life revolves around an underground fight club, where he struggles to make a meagre living. Wearing a gorilla mask, he becomes a target for more celebrated fighters who mercilessly pummel him in exchange for money. This Kid, driven by years of pent-up anger, discovers a method to infiltrate the inner circle of the city’s wicked elite. With his mysteriously scarred hands, a physical manifestation of his childhood trauma, he unleashes a relentless campaign of retribution, determined to settle the score with the individuals who deprived him of all he held dear. This revenge drama delves into the themes of strength and courage.

Dev Patel's love for Bruce Lee movies, Korean films, captivating Bollywood titles, and the cherished tales passed down by his grandfather as a child became a wellspring of inspiration for him.

What did we like about it?

It is a simple tale of vengeance, where a kid grows up to become an action hero and take revenge on people who have ruined his life. We have seen many Indian movies with similar storylines. But, its contemporary story fuses the different facets (viz., religious, cultural, mythological, social and political) in an interesting potpourri. The thinking audience will not be able to miss various social and political messages rooted in this film.

Besides, this action film takes a few notches higher by showcasing high-octane and well-choreographed fight scenes involving Dev. That aspect, it seems is inspired by action movies of the world.

At the age of 10, Dev Patel initiated his Taekwondo training, culminating in him earning a 1st dan black belt in March 2006 at the age of 16.

One of the dialogues in this thrilling flick overtly pays an ode to the well-known action drama ‘John Wick‘ film franchise. Like Keanu Reeves, we liked Dev Patel in it, as he too looked the part. As a film director, Dev Patel has done a credible job. He depicted the raw and harsh truth about widening economic inequality in India. Also, he has given a captivating performance as an angry and angst-ridden action star. Undoubtedly, he has given us a no-hold-barred Indian movie, which is a non-conformist and anti-establishment in today’s era. While watching this realistic film, one could feel the adrenaline-filled rush and deep emotions. It is an unexpected gift for all of Dev’s Indian fans.

The ensemble cast of mainly Indian performers, Pitobash (Alphonso), Sharlto Copley (Tiger), Sikandar Kher (Rana), Sobhita Dhulipala (Sita), Makrand Deshpande (Baba Shakti), Ashwini Kalsekar (Queenie), Vipin Sharma (Alpha), Adithi Kalkunte (Neela), etc. have done a good job too. Nonetheless, the other actors were in supporting roles only, they did not have much to do. Just like John Wick, perhaps. So, it might become a film franchise too.

The conclusion

It seems that like its hero ‘kid’ (Dev Patel), this movie too met with lots of challenges but it overcame them. Initially, as we mentioned there were the COVID pandemic issues. Later came the unusual financial crunch.

Due to budget cuts, multiple shots were filmed with GoPros and iPhones.

Still, Dev and his team gave us an entertaining film. Also, like the ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ film, this ‘Monkey Man’ does not flinch while depicting the poverty and corruption in India. We liked this neo-noir action thriller film.

Rating: Monkey Man (2024) Movie

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
FM Rating3.50/5
FM Rating: Monkey Man (2024) Film

Posters: Monkey Man (2024) Movie

Key Details: Monkey Man (2024) Movie

GenreAction, Mystery, Thriller
Original languagesEnglish ( and Hindi)
Age-restrictionsR (18+)
Duration2 hours 1 minute
WritersDev Patel, Paul Angunawela, & John Collee
DirectorDev Patel
CastDev Patel (Kid), Jatin Malik (Young Kid), Pitobash (Alphonso), Sharlto Copley (Tiger), Sikandar Kher (Rana), Sobhita Dhulipala (Sita), Makrand Deshpande (Baba Shakti), Ashwini Kalsekar (Queenie), Vipin Sharma (Alpha), Adithi Kalkunte (Neela), etc.
TaglineOne Small Ember Can Burn Down Everything.
DistributorUniversal Pictures
About – Monkey Man (2024) Film

Poster and Featured Image of the Monkey Man (2024) Film are courtesy of Universal Pictures.

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