News culture 10 times cheaper than John Wick 4 and just as powerful. I saw Monkey Man and it’s completely crazy!

Culture news 10 times cheaper than John Wick 4 and just as powerful. I saw Monkey Man and it’s completely crazy!

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In 2024, moviegoers and other fans of brutal, stylized action could well witness the birth of a true rival to John Wick. The challenger Monkey Man enters the box office ring confident and above all ready to fight. Has the most lethal killer of the 7th Art aka Baba Yaga finally found an adversary worthy of him?

Everything you need to know about Monkey Man

Some decisions are likely to haunt you for many years and the one taken by Netflix regarding a potential rival to the John Wick saga is definitely one of them. In 2021, the SVOD service with 260 million subscribers acquired the international operating rights to Monkey Man for 30 million US dollars. However, faced with the authorial violence of the film and its acerbic political commentary capable of closing the doors to its domestic market (India), the American firm ended up withdrawing from the project.

This was ultimately excellent news for all movie buffs and other action movie fans. “Thanks to Netflix”, Monkey Man is screened for the first time in cinemas on March 11, 2024 during the South by Southwest festival before being officially released in North America and then in the rest of the world during April. This film directed and co-written by Dev Patel (Skins, Slumdog Millionaire) is defined as an action thriller featuring a young fighter haunted by his past and driven by a deep desire for revenge.

The synopsis of the Monkey Man film: Wearing a gorilla mask, an anonymous young man makes his living in an underground fight club where he gets beaten to death night after night by more popular opponents for money. Marked by buried childhood traumas and guided by a deep desire for revenge, he ends up infiltrating the circle of elites who control the local underworld. Then begins a campaign of bloody reprisals in order to settle scores with the men who made his life hell.

The cast of the Monkey Man movie: Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Green Knight), Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysiuem), Pitobash (A Million Dollar Toss), Vipin Sharma (Taare Zameen Par), Sikandar Kher (Devdas) and Sobhita Dhulipala (Major)

Monkey Man is released in cinemas in France on April 17, 2024.

Much more than “John Wick in Mumbai”!

I like fighting. More specifically, I love big screen brawling. Since my earliest childhood, I have been in awe of the martial prowess of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and to a lesser extent those of Western artists. To understand where I’m talking about, I consider The Raid and its heir John Wick to be two of the most influential sagas of the 21st century in action cinema, but also in the 7th Art in the broad sense. There is a before and after Gareth Evans and Chad Stahelski… it’s obvious… and Monkey Man is clearly of this type.

Already mentioned in the preamble, Monkey Man is the very first film directed by Dev Patel, and what a first fight in the ring my ancestors. Several hours after my session, I am still very excited by this highly sensory cinematic experience which spares nothing for the spectators. Baba Yaga has just found a rival ready to do battle in an ultra graphic way. The actor known worldwide for his roles in Skins, Slumdog Millionaire and The Green Knight shows a talent behind the camera that I never suspected.

Monkey Man is presented by film circles as a “John Wick in Mumbai”. If I can understand the affiliation – John Wick is even mentioned – it is obvious that Dev Patel’s film voluntarily moves away from it to chart its own path using its fists, a bloody and oh so visceral path. British director of Indian origin captures on film some of the most brutal action scenes I have ever seen from the Netflix Original “The Night Comes for Us” (2018) by Timo Tjahjanto. That’s a compliment coming from me.

Certainly, Monkey Man is openly inspired by the film adventures of John Wick (the scene in the club), but is not content to make a pale “Indian” copy. The most notable difference lies in the way the fights are filmed. The camera here embraces the psychological state of its protagonist played by an overexcited Dev Patel who puts his physicality and his talents for martial arts at the service of his creation. As a reminder, he is a 1st dan black belt in Taekwondo. Supercharged and electrifying during the first part of the feature film, the direction arises at the same time as our Man-Ape, and finds inner peace to better understand the action.

The plot of Monkey Man is not revolutionary as it is based on a concept of revenge often seen in action cinema. The quest for the “hero” is simple, precise and definitive. However, she stands out because of the environment in which she tries to survive. India offers a thousand and one opportunities to stand out from Asian and Western works to anyone wishing to offer something “never before seen”. Dev Patel thus spices his quest for revenge with themes specific to his country of origin. It directly addresses the corruption of the elites and the police, the policies carried out against minorities (notably the hijras) or even expropriation without being finesse. Monkey Man has no taboos and much good to him.

It would be unfair to reduce Monkey Man to a simple “John Wick in Mumbai”. Dev Patel’s film is much more than that and proves that there is a sacred path for action cinema, that of emancipation. I can’t wait to see this promising director get back into the ring to deliver a second uppercut to the cinema just as memorable as the first.

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