SxSW Reaction – MONKEY MAN

The roof pretty much blew off the top of the Paramount Theatre in Austin last night at the World Premiere of MONKEY MAN, the much anticipated new actioner and directorial debut by none other than Dev Patel, a man who I think is loved by every single human on earth. Yours truly was seeing Mr. Patel in person and taking selfies. The screening was introduced by Jordan Peele to a loud reaction and then even louder when Mr. Patel came on stage.

About: 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.

Reaction: There is so much to say on Dev Patel’s directorial debut. There are of course comparisons to the JOHN WICK movies and if that gets you into the cinema to see it, then great, but this hardcore revenge story totally satisfies with its steady but slow buildup to an absolute explosion of chaos. What I loved is the slow buildup and glimpses of his past, and the movie has a lot of fun with its supporting cast including the legendary Pitobash who had the most memorable scenes. There’s also big Indian stars Vipin Sharma, Sikandar Kher, Sobhita Dhulipala who have graced my local screens back home as I also love to attend all of the Indian movies that come out. Patel truly has so much passion for not only Indian cinema but also plenty of other Asian and American action influences. And when the action hits, it is the full R-rated (or 18a in Canada) energy that you come to expect out of the genre. I really don’t want to say much more as I want audiences to discover it when this is released on April 5th, and I hope it finds a really big audience that will be even HALF as excited as my screening at the Paramount Theatre this week.

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