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FILM REVIEW: MONKEY MAN (18) ESP RATING: 4.5/5



Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel swings into the director’s chair for Monkey Man – a violently action-packed John Wick-esque action-thriller.


Patel also stars as the unnamed protagonist, who is on a relentless quest for vengeance. Inspired by the mythical figure of Hanuman – symbolising power and bravery – the film delves into his life as he navigates a gritty underground fight club, donning a gorilla mask and enduring brutal beatings for survival. 



Patel’s character, fuelled by years of pent-up anger and trauma – after the brutal death of his mother – embarks on a perilous journey to infiltrate the nefarious circles of an Indian city’s ruling class, unveiling a gripping tale of revenge and redemption.


Monkey Man captivated me with its raw intensity, intricate storytelling, and pulse-pounding action sequences. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire thing. 



My jaw almost hit the floor watching the end credits when I saw that Dev Patel had actually directed this (I had no idea!), and instantaneously I had to look up what else he’d directed. I couldn’t believe this was his first attempt. The film is so stylish and well-shot, that I assumed this would have been from a seasoned-filmmaker. I’m sure his Get Out director pal Jordan Peele (who produced) may have given him a few tips along the way. 



The set pieces are phenomenal and so well-choreographed – much in a similar vein to John Wick. It seems the filmmakers anticipated this comparison, as they cleverly referenced the Wick films at one point – perhaps being a cheeky wink to us ‘critics’. Specifically, Monkey Man brought to my mind the original John Wick movie, balancing action with moments for the audience to pause, reflect, and absorb the intensity of the scenes.



I’m probably ‘over-sharing’ here, but while watching Monkey Man, I found myself hesitating to step away to the loo, worried that I’d miss one of the many great moments. It has been a while since a movie has engrossed me in such a primal way.

 

ESP Rating: 4.5/5

 

Mike Clarke



Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Sikander Kher, Sobhita Dhulipala & Ashwini Kalsekar

Running Time: 2 Hrs 1 Min 

Director: Dev Patel

 

GO TO www.showcasecinemas.co.uk FOR ALL THE LATEST FILM INFORMATION & SHOWTIMES AT PETERBOROUGH’S SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX

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