‘Monkey Man’ Review — Dev Patel Arrives as a Next-Level Action Star SuperNayr

The Huge Image

  • Monkey Man
    is a ardour challenge for Dev Patel that sees him taking a brand new leap in his profession.
  • The movie showcases intense motion sequences that serve the character’s evolution successfully.
  • Whereas the motion scenes excel visually and narratively, pacing points and weak supporting characters hamper the movie.

This assessment was initially a part of our protection for the 2024 SXSW Movie & TV Competition.

Whereas amassing a wildly spectacular filmography of performing credit, Dev Patel lately began to place a big quantity of concentrate on his work behind the lens. After directing two brief movies and contributing to 4 characteristic movies in a producorial capability, Patel is leveling up in an enormous approach, and a splendidly distinct approach, together with his newest launch. Monkey Man marks his characteristic directorial debut.

Monkey Man

A lately launched ex-felon dwelling in India struggles to regulate to a world of company greed and eroding religious values.

Launch Date
April 4, 2024
113 minutes

What Is ‘Monkey Man’ About?

Patel additionally stars within the movie as Child, a person decided to take down the corrupt forces who exploit and terrorize the powerless, and are additionally answerable for the homicide of his mom. He begins the movie as a human punching bag. Evening after night time, Child places on a gorilla masks and steps into the ring of an underground struggle membership the place he’s often crushed bloody in alternate for money. Nonetheless, that routine modifications when Child seizes a possibility to get vengeance, kicking off an especially violent and bloody mission to decimate these responsibe for taking every part from him, and numerous others.

It’s abundantly clear that Monkey Man is a ardour challenge. Each body of this movie is crafted with function, coming throughout as one huge celebration of tradition, mythology, resolve, and the long-lasting motion movies that impressed Patel. You too can sense he’s giving each ounce of himself to the function of Child. Whether or not he’s unleashing bloody mayhem by way of a fancy set piece or quietly stewing whereas remembering the horrors of his previous, you possibly can see the burden of the fad Child is carrying. However that’s the issue. You possibly can see all of this. You don’t all the time really feel it.

The Monkey Man script is loaded with fascinating supporting characters, a strong backstory, and knowledge concerning the chilling present corruption that has a loss of life grip on the town of Yatana. The mixture of these storytelling belongings, nonetheless, is woven collectively in a muddy method leading to pacing issues, confusion, and feeling at a distance from Child. Patel’s a powerhouse tackling this considerably inner efficiency, but I typically felt like I used to be watching Child go on this mission from afar, not experiencing it with him.

The Literal Punches of ‘Monkey Man’ Hit Tougher Than the Emotional Ones

Whereas a number of supporting characters do make an impression, notably Sharlto Copley courtesy of his one-of-a-kind showmanship because the emcee of the underground struggle membership and Pitobash who sparks a somewhat charming reference to Child amidst all of this crime, violence, and carnage, most really feel like thinly drawn aspect characters, merely nudging Child ahead on his journey and little extra. One might argue that fits the action-heavy story construction, every supporting character serving as a vignette throughout Child’s evolution as he ranges up by way of motion, however in the end, it makes them much less attention-grabbing and weakens beats within the tail finish of the film that ought to have packed an even bigger emotional punch. The literal punches, nonetheless? These are unbelievable.

Patel might must work on story construction — he co-wrote the Monkey Man script with Paul Angunawela and John Collee — however he’s a pure at crafting motion sequences. There’s little question Monkey Man will boast a few of the most memorable struggle scenes of the yr.

Sharone Meir’s cinematography has all of it. Motion scene or not, his visuals are all gorgeous and textured. Each ounce of the town feels lived in and extremely atmospheric. On prime of that, the closest Monkey Man involves placing the viewer in Child’s sneakers is throughout these motion set items, largely because of Meir’s intimate and high-energy camerawork and the downright phenomenal stunt work. Patel, Meir, and the stunt group all the time efficiently set up a way of geography, whether or not a struggle takes place in tight quarters or a extra expansive area, and from there, there’s no holding again. They seize important chunks of difficult struggle choreography in prolonged pictures that then profit from well-timed and even handed edits by Dávid Jancsó and Tim Murrell. There’s an intimacy to their mixed work that ups the depth of the fights tenfold and likewise affords ample alternative to revel within the extra excessive moments, the standouts being a struggle involving an ax and one other that takes place in an elevator.

‘Monkey Man’ Speaks Finest Via Its Motion

Dev Patel raising his bloodied fist as Kid in Monkey Man.
Picture by way of Common Footage

One other top-tier high quality of the motion in Monkey Man is how properly it serves the character. In actual fact, it’s typically extra profitable in doing so than the movie’s dialogue and exposition-heavy scenes. Child’s evolution is psychological, emotional, and bodily. He kicks off the movie able to be crushed to a pulp and lose, however grows right into a formidable pressure and you may observe that improvement all through the struggle scenes. Not solely does the standard of them serve the character’s arc fairly properly, but it surely additionally ensures every struggle is outlined from one other.

Monkey Man is a real blended bag. The motion is staggeringly spectacular, each from a visible and storytelling standpoint, however the materials in between runs the danger of deflating the expertise by way of pacing issues and narrative confusion. Why teeter optimistic on Monkey Man then? As a result of it’s abundantly clear it was crafted by a passionate and decided artist with a imaginative and prescient. Patel swings huge from begin to end in Monkey Man. A few of these are house runs and others are misses, however there’s an assuredness to all of his selections that makes Monkey Man particularly exhilarating to observe play out, and it additionally makes Patel a really thrilling voice to observe on this area.

There’s little question Patel has obtained boundless potential and energy as a director, and I sit up for seeing him harness that an increasing number of as he rocks the trade with daring visions.

Monkey Man Film Poster
Monkey Man


Monkey Man is not good, typically getting dragged down by thinly sketched characters, but it surely marks Dev Patel as a director to observe.


  • Each body is crafted with function, drawing from each tradition and mythology in addition to the motion movies that impressed Patel.
  • The motion scenes, along with serving the character fairly properly, pack an actual punch and are sure to be among the many most memorable of the yr.
  • From the cinematography to the modifying and stunt choreography, every part ups the depth of the fights because it revels within the extra excessive moments.

  • The movie nonetheless stays a blended bag with most of the supporting characters feeling thinly drawn.
  • Whilst you all the time see the emotional journey that Patel’s Child is on, you do not all the time really feel in the best way one would hope for.

Monkey Man involves theaters within the U.S. beginning April 5. Click on beneath for showtimes.


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