Monkeyman Movie Review

From the electrifying mind of director Jia Li and the directorial debut of Dev Patel comes “Monkeyman,” a thrilling blend of action, fantasy, and social commentary. Set in a sprawling metropolis reminiscent of a near-future Hong Kong, the film seamlessly weaves together ancient legends and high-tech intrigue.

Plot and Characters

At the heart of the story is Sun Wukong, the legendary Monkey King, reimagined in a modern context. Played with charismatic flair by rising star Chen Wei, Sun Wukong is a misunderstood hero fighting against the oppressive forces of a corrupt corporate empire.

Monkey Man, portrayed by Dev Patel, is a nameless man shrouded in mystery, whose story begins in the dark underbelly of an underground fight club. Hidden by a gorilla mask, he endures relentless beatings for scraps of cash, displaying a simmering rage just beneath the surface. The narrative takes a sharp turn as he infiltrates the world of the city’s corrupt elite, fueled by a desire for vengeance.

Performances and Cinematography

Patel’s performance is raw and captivating, portraying the character’s physical and emotional pain with unflinching intensity. Wei’s performance as Sun Wukong is nothing short of captivating, bringing depth and vulnerability to a character often reduced to mere folklore.

Visually, “Monkeyman” is a feast for the eyes. The blend of traditional Chinese artistry and cutting-edge CGI creates a world that is both familiar and extraordinary. The fight sequences, both from Sun Wukong’s legendary battles and Patel’s visceral fight scenes, are choreographed with precision and grace, paying homage to classic martial arts films while introducing innovative techniques.

Social Commentary and Themes

The film doesn’t shy away from social issues. The corrupt elite are portrayed as ruthless and exploitative, while the plight of the poor and marginalized is brought to light. This social commentary adds depth to the revenge narrative, making “Monkeyman” more than just a typical action flick.

However, “Monkeyman” is not without its flaws. The pacing, at times, feels uneven, with certain scenes lingering too long while others seem rushed. Additionally, some of the supporting characters lack the development needed to fully invest the audience in their plight. The film’s dark and violent tone might not be for everyone, and the ending may leave some viewers wanting more resolution.


“Monkeyman” is a bold and imaginative film that breathes new life into an age-old tale. Dev Patel and Jia Li have crafted a cinematic gem that, despite its imperfections, is sure to leave a lasting impression and spark conversations long after the credits roll.

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