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'Monkey Man' (2024)

Source: © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

SPOILER NOTICE:

The following movie review does not contain direct spoilers for the film Monkey Man, however general information in regards to the plot, characters, key climax points and historical context directly related to events in the film will be heavily discussed.

Please read at your own discretion, or after seeing the film in theaters.

 

 

Back in 2003 when Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino embarked on the epic two-part saga that is Kill Bill — we *still* need Vol. 3, Q&U! — the duo created both a cinematic universe and character with The Bride (aka B****** K****) that combined kung-fu, Asian culture, action, adventure and female empowerment all into one “gory story” that was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before.

A little over a decade later, go-to Hollywood hero Keanu Reeves decided on adding to his glaring roster of lead action roles, from Speed and every film in The Matrix to Constantine and 47 Ronin, by linking with Derek Kolstad and introducing us to a no-holds-barred hitman in the form of John Wick. From the first film in 2014 to last year’s arrival of John Wick: Chapter 4, Keanu has delivered some of the most innovative, realistic and downright entertaining fight sequences ever filmed for the silverscreen.

And now in 2024, almost in the vain of a “by-the-decade” offering, Oscar-nominated actor Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Lion) leaned on the production skills of Jordan Peele (Get Out, Nope) to bring us the next level of big kung-fu movie masters with his starring role (and directorial debut!) in the new Universal Pictures action thriller, Monkey Man.

 

 

'Monkey Man' (2024)

Source: © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

 

'Monkey Man' (2024)

Source: © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

 

RELATED: ‘A Look Inside’ The Jordan Peele-Produced Action Thriller Film Monkey Man [WATCH]

First envisioned all the way back in 2018 and filmed during the global pandemic, making the final product seem even more astounding, Monkey Man is in every sense a love story to India and Middle Eastern culture overall. Granted, it’s a very bloody and violence-filled love story, but full of heart nonetheless. The love theme arises in various forms throughout the film, primarily with the character Kid (Patel) who nightly turns into the titular character when suiting up for illegal cage fights in the fictional Indian city of Yatana. It’s all in preparation though for his ultimate revenge to annihilate the group of corrupt leaders that ravaged his village as a kid and sadly killed his mother as he hid for safety. Now in his 30s, Kid has managed to make his way into the secret society frequented by two of his prime targets: Rana Singh, the corrupt chief of police who actually killed his mom, and the guru/boss of the whole organization Baba Shakti. The performances by Sikandar Kher and Makarand Deshpande, respectively, are so on-point that you might have to remind yourself it’s all just one good film.

 

'Monkey Man' (2024)

Source: © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

 

The culture that emanates throughout can be felt in all aspects, from the film being set during India’s annual festival of lights known as Diwali to the heartfelt experience Kid receives during the film’s climax as he’s embraced and nurtured back to health thanks to a collective of outsiders led by a banished group of transgender women. Vipin Sharma as “head house mother” Alpha is truly a step ahead in how roles can be casted for LGBTQIA+ characters and, more importantly, how the gender identity is never explicitly implied or made out to be a big deal.

 

'Monkey Man' (2024)

Source: © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

'Monkey Man' (2024)

Source: © Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The addition of Peele gives Monkey Man a beneficial boost of Americanized fun, be it comedic add-ins during scenes where things should probably be tense or curating a banging soundtrack that goes from J.I.D. and Rick Ross one minute to culturally-relevant bangers the next minute like “Gasoline” by Apashe and Raga. Composer Jed Kurzel fills in the gaps with original score music that will mentally bring you into their world from a sonic perspective.

Rounding out the cast includes a hilarious performance by Ashwini Kalsekar as the bossed-up Queenie, Sobhita Dhulipala stealing the show as the beautiful Sita, Adithi Kalkunte’s brief-yet-prominent role as Kid’s mom Neela, Zakir Hussain as a wise and instrumental tabla maestro and Pitobash as the slick-yet-smiley sidekick Alphonso.

In short, if you took the best of John Wick and combined it with the aesthetic of 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire — a film that ironically enough introduced us to Dev Patel as an 18-year-old international Hollywood hopeful — and sat it next to Kill Bill for a semester, Monkey Man is the film you’d get. Or something like that.

 

Prepare for the biggest thrills you’ll witness at the movies in 2024 by heading out to see Monkey Man, exclusively in theaters today. Take a look at the trailer below:

 

 

The post ‘Monkey Man’ Review: Dev Patel Is The Indian Action Star Giving John Wick A Run For His Money appeared first on Black America Web.

‘Monkey Man’ Review: Dev Patel Is The Indian Action Star Giving John Wick A Run For His Money  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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