Film Review: “Monkey Man”


  • Starring:  Dev Patel and Sharlto Copely
  • Directed by: Dev Patel
  • Rated:  R
  • Running time:  2 hrs, 1 min
  • Universal


Here are four words I thought I’d never see together:
“Dev Patel – Action Star.”  Yet, in the new film “Monkey Man,” Patel proves he can kick ass both on screen and, as the film’s director, behind it.


Meet Kid (Patel), a man trying hard to forget his past, no matter the nightmares.  To earn money, he participates in unsanctioned UFC-style battles with very few rules.  And he fights wearing the mask of a monkey.  Meet the Monkey Man.


Basically a young-man-seeking-revenge thriller, “Monkey Man” is far superior to many films of that type thanks to Patel’s work both as actor and director.  I’ve always been a fan of Patel on screen.  From “Slumdog Millionaire” to his Oscar nominated (and BAFTA winning) performance in “Lion,” he has been an actor whose work I admire and actually look forward to seeing.  This film is no different, as he gives another fine performance.


But it is Patel the director who is the real star here.  The film is full of non-stop action, with each encounter more thrilling then the last.  Patel allows his cameras to become part of the on-screen ballet, capturing the fury of every punch.  With the use of Go-Pros, the viewer is put directly into the action with such realism that you may find yourself ducking in the audience.


I will note that the film is quite brutal in some of it’s depictions of violence so be prepared to squirm in your seat a little.  But squirm away because I can guarantee you this isn’t the last time you’ll see Patel behind the camera.


On a scale of zero to five, I give “Monkey Man” ★★



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