MONKEY MAN – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Monkey Man: We all have scars

Monkey Man is an animal picture of a different kind. Dev Patel directs and stars in this dark and dingy, seedy and scheming, bloody and bombastic, knockdown, drag out fight fest filled with cultural and political undertones.

Patel is Kid, a slumdog who’s out to infiltrate the millionaires of a make believe Mumbai to achieve revenge for family and his fellow CASTEaways. Monkey Man is inspired by the legend of Hanuman, a part human, part ape Hindu god who embodies strength and courage. Kid, who barely makes any money as a bare knuckle fighter in a monkey mask, takes beating after beating, finally realizing he needs to fight for a purpose instead of because of the pain of his past.

Monkey Man was set to be released straight-to-streaming on Netflix until psychological horror movie maven Jordan Peele sat in on a viewing. He felt it merited a big screen release and acquired the rights becoming a producer of the film along with Patel and a host of others.

Patel as this primal primate turns Bollywood into Bloodywood. There’s no dancing, but there is carefully choreographed mayhem. Kid turns into the John Wick of India showing no mercy on those who have done him wrong. Monkey Man is so violent Quentin Tarantino is taking notes. You may want to wear a rain slicker in the theater as the camera gets movie goers so close to the action you just might become a victim of collateral damage.

Monkey Man is rated R not only because of the blood and gore, but also for intensity and foul language. There are subtitles when English isn’t spoken, but sometimes the actor’s accents are hard to understand no matter what language they are speaking. My husband Ricky had two goggle protected eyes open throughout the just under two hour action thriller. Monkey Man is O(my!) Positive.

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T. J. Callahan

Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the Marconi Award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT in Houston to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for Houston Radio Platinum and 101 Gold , Southern New Mexico's favorite radio station. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and The Sam Malone Show on KNTH in Houston. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her Friday and Saturdays on houstonradioplatinum.com and on Friday afternoons on the Leslie T. Travis Show on KVLC FM in Las Cruces. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association and the Houston Film Critics Society. She truly believes everything in life is one degree of Blazing Saddles.