Monkey Man Is Your New R-Rated Violent Action Obsession

By Robert Scucci | Published

There’s a new action hero on the block, and it’s Dev Patel in the upcoming action thriller, Monkey Man. Marking Patel’s directorial debut, Monkey Man can be described using phrases like “frenetic” and “high-octane” without the slightest hint of irony. Upon its SXSW debut, the film was met with a standing ovation, and was compared to the John Wick franchise because of its relentless pacing and ambitious action sequences.

Monkey Man Is The Next John Wick

Inspired by Patel’s love for martial arts movies like Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon, Monkey Man has fight sequences that will intimidate the most seasoned of action movie stars. The body count in the trailer alone is enough to get you clenching your fists, punching the air, and looking for the nearest foreign object to use as a weapon should the need arise.

Ahead of the film’s March 11 SXSW premiere, Patel told the audience that he wanted to make an authentic action movie that not only portrayed real soul, trauma, and pain, but also highlighted the unique culture found in the slums of India.

Dev Patel’s Dream Project

It’s clear that Monkey Man started out as a passion project for Dev Patel, who wrote, directed, produced, and stars in the film. Shot in the one of the largest slums in India, the production was challenged by pandemic lockdowns, injuries, and according to Patel, every other possible thing that could go wrong. Patel even broke his hand during production, and you can see him wearing a wrap on his hand during one of the many fight sequences depicted in the film.

Another Great Revenge Thriller

At its heart, Monkey Man is a classic revenge thriller. Dev Patel portrays the film’s protagonist, simply known as Kid. Working in an underground fight club to earn a living, Kid seeks revenge against the community’s corrupt leaders who exploit their citizens for their own benefit. The revenge plot becomes all the more palpable when we learn that those same leaders are responsible for his mother’s death.

Disguising himself with a monkey mask during his fights, Kid takes as many beatings as he dishes out, but he never loses his drive to fight for a better life.

Jordan Peele’s Involvement

Patel refers to Monkey Man as a true underdog story, as Kid is an underdog himself who is supported by a large community of underdogs who all have a common goal. The same can be said about the film itself, as Monkey Man wasn’t originally set to have a theatrical release. That is, of course, until Jordan Peele got involved.

Originally set to be distributed by Netflix, Monkey Man wouldn’t have seen a wide theatrical release. After watching the film, Jordan Peele insisted that Monkey Man would benefit from a proper big-screen treatment. Peele acquired the rights, and through his Monkeypaw Productions banner, set up a distribution deal with Universal Pictures.

Coming Soon To Theaters

At its SXSW premiere, Peele stated that Monkey Man is a film that needs to be witnessed by “a huge rockstar audience,” and thanks to the new distribution deal we’ll be able to see what Dev Patel’s groundbreaking revenge thriller is all about on April 5, 2024.