The action genre’s newest film addition, “Monkey Man”

I’ve never been much of an action movie enthusiast. I’ve never watched movies like “John Wick,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” and the Mission Impossible series because they always seemed unappealing to me. I thought they lacked depth in plot and engagement. However, I eventually realized that I might have been too quick to judge. Curiosity got the better of me, prompting me to give these films a chance.

My journey into the realm of action movies began last year with “Bullet Train,” partly because of Bad Bunny’s involvement, and I found myself pleasantly surprised. Recently, I also watched “Argyle,” starring Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa, and I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed both experiences.

It dawned on me that a well-crafted action movie isn’t just about explosive sequences but also about striking a balance between adrenaline-pumping action, a compelling storyline, and even a touch of humor.

I saw the trailer for “Monkey Man” and saw the Jordan Peele name drop so I had to go check it out. To sum it up, “Monkey Man” is bloody good (literally). A young man struggles to survive in an underground fight club, enduring beatings for money while wearing a monkey mask. Eventually, he finds a way to confront the powerful elite who caused his suffering. Fueled by his past trauma, he seeks revenge against those who wronged him.

Dev Patel really did a good job with the entire film, and it is impressive that this was his directorial debut. He wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the film, and I have so much respect for him, especially since it may not have even been made without the help of Jordan Peele.

There were maybe a half dozen brand new (to me) ways to kill dudes in this movie, and the highlights were Patel biting the knife to finish the neck stab, the poor guy who ran straight into the axe neck first, and the one kick knockout to King Kobra. Overall, it was a solid action flick, and the locations were really unique. The scenery in India gave things a different vibe compared to most American action films. I also enjoyed the first hour as Patel worked his way into the “business.”

My complaints with the movie come from the supporting characters. His buddy who helped him get through the business was just thrown away during the second half of the movie, and I didn’t feel the chemistry between his love interest throughout the film. I also felt as if the flashbacks during the first half of the film were disorienting and unnecessary. But it did have some really good action and a good revenge story, which is really all you need for an action film.

The movie has its flaws, but I am still into it. You can tell that Patel put his heart and soul into this film with the ambition to swing big and be willing to miss.

Overall, the movie was a very fun and wild time with great fights and a unique style, culminating in a really solid directorial debut. I’m looking forward to what Patel cooks up next.