The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Ultimate Revenge Fantasy: “Monkey Man” (2024)

One thing I will never do is gatekeep movies. If I like a movie, I’ll always recommend it and if I know any fun facts about a movie, you better believe you’ll hear them. So when I found out I was practically the only person who had heard of “Monkey Man” (2024), I knew I had to write an article about it to spread the word. “Monkey Man” written, directed and produced by Dev Patel, is one of the most intriguing and action-packed films I’ve ever seen. Allow me to tell you about it in this semi-spoiler-free review.

On top of all his other jobs in this movie’s production, Patel also plays the main character. The main character is never given a name but is referred to as ‘Kid’ in the credits. The best way I can describe this movie is as the ultimate revenge fantasy. When he was younger, Kid’s village was raided by the police, and his mother was killed in front of him. Since then he has sought revenge on everyone who had wronged him.

Illustrated by: Elizabeth Reece

The film is set in India and features a lot of Indian culture and religion. The title “Monkey Man” comes from the Hindu deity, Hanuman, who is half-monkey, half-human. Kid’s mother told him stories about Hanuman and as a character, Kid symbolizes Hanuman. This movie has a huge emphasis on faith, and I actually really like it. There’s also surprisingly great representation and commentary on transgender people. One of the supporting characters, Alpha, a transgender woman, and keeper of a Hindu temple, helps Kid through his spiritual journey and assists in his revenge plans.

One of my favorite things about this movie is that it is an unapologetic revenge story. I feel that often in media when a character’s main goal is revenge, they are shown as wrong for wanting revenge and usually will change their goal by the end of the story. Too many times I’ve seen a vengeful character end up forgiving and forgetting instead of being allowed to have their revenge. Since it is such a regular occurrence, I was worried that “Monkey Man” was going to end in this way. Fortunately, it doesn’t, and for once we actually get a full, complete and satisfying revenge.

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I feel that characters whose main goal in the narrative is revenge are always portrayed negatively. Revenge can be a very good motivator for a character and a story, but it’s unsatisfying and anti-climactic when, in the end, no one gets revenge. In the case of Kid, his need for revenge is very justifiable and I don’t think anyone should disagree with that. The best part is, Kid goes through a spiritual journey in the movie, and yet his faith doesn’t waver in his goal of revenge. In fact, he is greatly encouraged by the people of the temple to seek revenge and is even assisted by them in his plans.

I really liked this movie. You can tell Patel poured his heart and soul into this. According to a BBC Radio interview, this movie has been in the making for ten years. They also shot in 2020, which caused them to have to move from India to Indonesia to film. Which cost them lots of money and crew. During the shooting, Patel broke his foot and hand, tore his shoulder and got an eye infection. They also were on such a tight budget that for some scenes inside the club, they didn’t have the money to afford props for the table so they had to shoot everything from the shoulders up.

The fight scenes are definitely the stand-out of this movie. They were so dynamic and so intriguing. There are many fight sequences in this film but they never made me bored. Each one was unique and was unlike anything I had ever seen. The choreography was absolutely insane– I would watch the movie again just for the fight scenes. I swear half of this movie’s budget was for fake blood, whether that encourages you or discourages you from watching it.

“Monkey Man” just came out this April and is only in theaters and I would definitely recommend it. It’s very reminiscent of the “John Wick” movies, and Patel said in the BBC Radio interview he was inspired by Bruce Lee movies, Korean action films and Bollywood movies. This film definitely deserves more recognition so go out and watch it, just be prepared to see some blood.

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About the Contributor
Megan Weaver, Reporter
Megan Weaver is a sophomore at the University of Central Missouri. She is majoring in Digital Media Production with a focus in Cinematography and a minor in Creative Writing. She has been with The Muleskinner since Fall 2022. Megan loves writing movie reviews and analyses for The Muleskinner. Her goal is to let her film opinions be known to a wide audience, whether they want to hear them or not.

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