Review: ‘Monkey Man’ is a Bloody Brutal “Must See!”

Monkey Man review - spoiler free

June 17, 2024

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

Academy Award-nominated actor Dev Patel’s (Lion, Slumdog Millionaire) new white-knuckle revenge movie is out now. I’ve been waiting to see this one for a while. I was not disappointed. Let’s talk about it in this Monkey Man review.

Patel proves he’s a triple threat with Monkey Man, directing, writing, and starring in the revenge-fueled balls-to-the-wall movie, which left me saying, “Hell yeah!”This is even more impressive because it is Patel’s directorial debut. However, Patel is not the only notable name involved; Jordan Peele (Get Out) is a producer.

So, what’s it about? The film draws inspiration from the revered Hindu deity Hanuman, a symbol of immense strength and unwavering courage. This influence shapes Kid’s character, a young man hardened by a brutal reality. By night, he fights anonymously in a clandestine fight club, his face obscured by a gorilla mask. He endures relentless beatings, the scars a constant reminder of his struggles. But beneath the surface lies a simmering rage ignited by the tragic murder of his mother and the systemic oppression of the underprivileged.

What unfolds is a tale packed with fights and brutality on a scale that even John Wick would be impressed by. It’s intense, but it’s not all about the fights. It has a ton of heart, and social commentary is also thrown in for good measure. This helps create a protagonist you can empathize with, leaving you cheering for the poor guy. I like that the character is not some unbeatable superhero. He’s flesh and bone and doesn’t always win. But he does have the heart of a hero.

This movie literally has everything action fans could want: fights, chase scenes, redemption, revenge, and emotion. The story will pull you in and leave you on the edge of your seat and yelling at your TV as Patel’s character sets out on his mission to avenge his mother’s horrifying death. But don’t get it twisted. The story goes beyond expertly crafted fight scenes. It speaks on government corruption and class issues. It also shines a light on the subject of India’s “hijra,” the third sex, people born male who live their lives as feminine beings. In India, they are considered neither female nor male but a sex of their own. The movie has the best approach to the subject, without feeling woke just to be woke. It feels like a natural part of the story, unlike what we get a lot of now.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that I think it was a good choice. I doubt we’ll get a sequel and I think that’s a good thing. Too many movies make sequels to make as much money as possible, often choosing quantity over quality.

The special effects were well done, and the blood and action looked really realistic. CGI blood and bullet wounds are always a gamble. How many times have we seen high-budget films ruined by bad CGI blood? Too many.

After his outstanding performance in 2021’s The Green Knight, Patel was already on my radar, so when I heard he was pulling triple duty for Monkey Man, I was already in. He’s thriving as an actor, but directing, writing, and acting in the same film would be a test for anyone. I am impressed as hell with how Patel handled his duties. He did a fantastic job both in front of and behind the camera. I think it’s safe to say that we will see a lot more powerful and badass films from him in the future. Patel is definitely one to watch, that’s for sure.

So, what’s my verdict? I think it’s evident by now: I loved it! Monkey Man is a must-see! In fact, don’t be surprised if you see it on our annual “Top 10” list. Luckily, you don’t have to wait to watch this one; it’s now on Peacock, Digital, and available on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra. I recommend going ahead and buying this killer movie because you are going to watch it again and again.


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