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monkey man
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starring: dev patel, sobhita dhulipala, sikandar kher, and sharlto copley 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

An anonymous young man unleashes a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor and powerless.

When you see quite a few movies every year, there’s a tendency for them to blend into one another a little bit. You’re after a fresh take, an engrossing story that grips your heart, themes that give you a different take on life, a tour de force performance, or striking production design. Monkey Man has all of this in spades with a film unlike anything you’ve really seen before. A stunning cinematic achievement that not only perfectly traverses the balance between beauty and brutality, Monkey Man is a bombastic announcement that Dev Patel is a director to watch.  

 

Inspired by the legend of Hanuman, an icon embodying strength and courage, Monkey Man stars Patel as Kid, an anonymous young man who ekes out a meager living in an underground fight club where, night after night, wearing a gorilla mask, he is beaten bloody by more popular fighters for cash.

 

After years of suppressed rage, Kid discovers a way to infiltrate the enclave of the city’s sinister elite. As his childhood trauma boils over, his mysteriously scarred hands unleash an explosive campaign of retribution to settle the score with the men who took everything from him.

 

It’s quite astounding that Monkey Man is Dev Patel’s directorial debut. Everything about this film from the story, to the intricate but wincingly brutal fight sequences, to the production design is near flawless and looks as if it has been crafted by an extremely experienced director. The story itself delves deep into poverty and corruption while also being touched by the mystical, without feeling as though those two elements can’t cohesively coexist together. 

 

We’ve got to talk about the action sequences. Oh. My. Monkey Man has some of the most inventive yet brutal action sequences you’ll see on the silver screen this year. Once sequence in particular, as Kid attempts to escape, will leave you utterly breathless at its ferocity. Utterly outstanding. 

 

A stunning cinematic achievement that not only perfectly traverses the balance between beauty and brutality, Monkey Man is a bombastic announcement that Dev Patel is a director to watch.

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