Monkey Man (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Dev Patel came seemingly out of nowhere with his directorial debut Monkey Man. Based off of the Hindu tale of Hanuman, the film shows us a darker side of India than we have been shown before.  This side features exploitation, violence, drugs and horrible human beings. All of this makes for a very interesting ride for movie fans. Read more on Monkey Man below and click the cover art at the end to order a copy of this action-filled romp!



From Oscar® winning Producer Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us, Nope) comes Oscar® nominee Dev Patel’s (Slumdog Millionaire, Lion) astonishing tour-de-force directorial debut, inspired by the legend of Hanuman, an icon embodying strength and courage. Patel stars as a man with no name, scarred by a brutal childhood, who ekes out a meager living in underground fighting rings. But when he finds a way to rise up and infiltrate his city’s corrupt elite, he kicks off an explosive campaign for retribution to settle the score with the men who took everything from him as a boy. Channeling the rage of the poor and powerless, an unexpected hero emerges in this fight-filled action epic.

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you may have noticed a fair string of movies that are fast-paced, revenge based and ultra-violent.  John Wick or Nobody may come to mind… And you’d be right if you said these films were crowd pleasing.  As we look at films like this, we are absolutely looking at an escape.  A lot of people go into these films looking for ways to say “I’d love to be like this person…” or “If I could avenge “x,y,z…” I would…”. As with any film, we use them as an escape from our lives, even if we see shades of our own lives in some films.

Now we have Monkey Man, which opens our eyes to a side of India we don’t often see in films that are meant for our mainstream market.  In the film we see human trafficking, drug deals, angry mobs, trans women banding together, and of course, one here to avenge all the wrongdoing.  In the case of Monkey Man, we have Dev Patel playing a nameless man whose family is taken from him as a young boy.  As we fast-forward to the present, the boy is now a man, fighting in underground fights to make money.  He’s never not thinking about the family he lost, the home he lost and the normalcy of his life. He knows he must find a way to interfere with what lots him his normal life and knows how to do it too! First, No Name infiltrates a brothel run by a pimp, Queenie, who is a female literally betraying other females by pimping them out.  From there he gets closer to Alphonso, who was behind the treacherous wrongs done to him.

All of this is not before some very interesting left turns though. After a particularly rough situation, No Name is taken in and helped by a group of trans women and their leader. The help No Name to heal and then train to fight back against everyone who’s hurt him, and to save others from the sadnesses he’s endured.

Taken on this action-packed ride, we see an anti-hero who has endured so much in his life.  He competes in bare knuckle fights and gets beaten down. You’d never know he was strong enough to go on, but he does.  He makes very little money, and he has very little emotional connection to anyone or anything.  We go along and see the underworld of India right in our faces.  It’s surprising to see what we do.  A female pimp, a ridiculously fast motorized rickshaw, even a group of Trans women who are learning to fight back.  These images feel fresh to the viewer.

While we don’t have a deep backstory, Monkey Man never fails to pull us in.  We watch through the eyes of No Name and we find ourselves hoping that he keeps fighting.  We see how his life has been affected and only wish him peace as he’s picking apart his enemies. We want to see all these reprehensible humans that have contributed to his sad story fall and fall hard. It’s a testament to Dev Patel that his writing, direction and performance here speak loudly to his talent and commitment to this film and character.  Overall, the film goes from general action flick to a contemplative, smart, fantastically paced action thriller with a character we have yet to see in a film before this.  He has no name, that isn’t new, but the journey is and I’d say it’s one of the finer action movies to come out in the last few years. The action is intense and gruesome, with fighting being the most significant thing we see.  Don’t expect a ton of explosions or big gun play. This is a hand-to-hand kind of action and it is exhilarating.  The film never lets up in the fight department and for that reason, the film is even more unique.  If you’re looking for an action movie with moments you’ve never seen before, it’s very easy to recommend Monkey Man.


Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1


Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Looking just as a modern film should in the best physical home media format, Monkey Man is fantastic in 4K.  Images are clear and sharp with lots of detail, even with much of the film taking place in the dark. The neon lights of certain scenes or the fiery warmer colors all look fantastic here, with nothing giving way to softness, not even the sparely used CGI!

Depth: The overall look of Monkey Man is one with lots of focus, even in close up.  Shots are composed with lots of thought and in movement and in still moments, the depth department is show plenty of love throughout the film.

Black Levels: Blacks are crush free, and while most of the film takes place in dark places, you’d be lying if you said you missed any details in that blackness.  Nothing is lost, and blacks are fantastically recreated here.

Color Reproduction: This is not an HDR firestorm at all, but warm tones are featured prominently and look excellent.  Other colors also have that pop viewers want to see, and nothing looks out of place or strange during the runtime.

Flesh Tones: Nice detailing on flesh tones throughout with some great facial textures also!

Noise/Artifacts: Flawless.


Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, French Dolby TrueHD 7.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Francais/Canadian

Dynamics: A hard-hitting Dolby Atmos mix is the main choice for Monkey Man. The track features deep bass and busy lower and height surround channels as well.  Nothing is hard to hear, and you really are immersed in the journey through brothels, shelters and the Indian cityscape in the film.

Height: The height channels help to reinforce the sometime cavernous nature of the films set pieces.  The underground arena for the fights or the kitchen in the brothel restaurant give us a closed in feeling, while the night time city sounds pepper the speakers when we go outside the closed spaces.

Low-Frequency Extension: Pulsating music cues, score, hard hits and gunfire get the bass punch for most of the film, with an active subwoofer for most of the film.

Surround Sound Presentation: Surrounds bring you front and center into No Names exploits.  Things move around you and make it impossible to feel detached from the action.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is perfectly intelligible throughout the film with on-screen subtitles to help if things don’t seem clear enough, even if they usually are.

Extras: Dexter-_5

Extras for Monkey Man are surprisingly full bodied.  Rather annoyingly though, Universal has relegated even the commentary to the Blu-ray disc, so you’ll have to swap your disc to access the features.  It’s worth the first world problem though!




  • True Shakti
  • Mother’s Death
  • Training Montage
  • Lucky Kid
  • Alphonso Death
  • Post Credit Button

A LABOR OF LOVE – First-time director Dev Patel shares how this project came about as well as some of the obstacles he and his crew faced along the way. Cast and cre­w highlight Patel’s unique scope of skills and contributions to the film as well as partnering with Monkeypaw.

MONKEY MAN OF ACTION – In MONKEY MAN, Dev Patel transforms from underdog to hero, establishing a style of action that is uniquely his own. This piece goes behind the scenes into Patel’s stunt and fight training, taking a closer look at how the movement in these scenes was captured.

FATEFUL ENCOUNTERS – Throughout our hero’s journey, Kid comes face to face with many individuals. Some embody good and others evil, but each encounter shapes Kid’s actions. Cast discuss their characters and what drew them into the light, or darkness, that their roles required.

ROOTS EXPOSED – MONKEY MAN explores the story of a beloved folktale and its place in our modern world. Writer, director, producer, and star of the film, Dev Patel, shares his passion for bringing this story along with the representation of his culture to life.

FEATURE COMMENTARY with Director/Actor/Writer/Producer Dev Patel, Producers Jomon Thomas and Sam Sahni, and Co-Producer Raghuvir Joshi

Summary: Dexter-_5

Monkey Man presents itself as a standard action movie with a different looking cast.  Thankfully, besides the uniqueness of being set in India with actual Indian actors and actresses, there is an original story here based off a very interesting folk tale.  The visuals are wonderful, and Dev Patel brings yet another wonderful performance to the screen in a film entirely his own! If you’re looking for more than your standard shoot-‘em-up movie, then look no further than this top notch 4K disc!

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