Back in January, we shared the trailer for Dev Patel’s feature directorial debut Monkey Man. The consensus among Outposters seemed to be that it had piqued your curiosity. News out of the premiere at SXSW in Austin will just add to that. The movie recieved a lively response from the audience in attendance, and the reviews are excellent.

The ever-reliable Dark Horizons is reporting that it is currently at 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and shared Patel’s comments from the premiere, with the star and director saying:

“The action genre has been abused by the system. You know, a quick buck. Mindless shit. I wanted to give it soul. Real trauma. Real pain. You guys deserve that. I wanted to infuse it with a little bit of culture.”

According to the blurb, Patel plays a character simply called Kid. He is an anonymous young man who makes a meager living in an underground fight club. 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.


Here’s some review comments:

“It’s a muscular, emotional, ferocious triumph of a movie, and when it’s over, you’ll want to go right back in and watch it all over again.”

Matthew Jackson, AV Club

“Just as Kid is reborn in the film, so too is Patel. It requires fighting a bloody battle, but what a beautiful sight it is to see. Forget John Wick, let no one doubt the power of action star Dev Patel again.”

Chase Hutchinson, The Wrap

“While [Monkey Man] often feels very much like a rough, earnest fan film… it also suggests that if Patel’s technique behind the camera catches up to his passion for the genre, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

David Fear, Rolling Stone

“It’s a free-for-all of headrush filmmaking… Its lack of grounding wide shots makes the film feel unmoored at times, which inhibits emotional engagement. But the badass factor here is strong.”

Katie Rife, Indiewire

“It isn’t and hasn’t been the smoothest ride, but as proof of concept for Patel’s action movie bona fides in front of and behind the camera, consider Monkey Man a success.”

Adrian Horton, The Guardian

“Dev Patel has made a very daring, bloody, and exciting debut as a filmmaker. This movie is the unexpected violent, vicious, and cathartic ride we did not know we needed.”

Sharai Bohannon, Dread Central

Monkey Man is inspired by the Hindu legend of Hanuman. Hanuman is a deity and revered as an avatar of Shiva and a devoted companion of the deity Rama. Hanuman is celebrated for his unwavering devotion to Rama.

Sharlto Copley, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Sikandar Kher, Sobhita Dhulipala, Ashwini Kalsekar, Adithi Kalkunte, and Makarand Deshpande make up the rest of the cast. Monkey Man will get a theatrical release via Universal Pictures on April 5th.

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