Get ready for Dev Patel’s “Monkey Man,” described by critics as the “South Asian John Wick” with its raw and intense action scenes, in cinemas May 15

Dev Patel has always loved action cinema.  

Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “Lion”), who has been obsessed with action cinema from different parts of the world ever since he was a child, has been working on “Monkey Man” for nearly a decade. “It was an action-packed, crazy ride – blood, sweat, tears, broken bones, literally, for this revenge film about faith,” shares Patel about his passion project, which he set out to write years ago, and eventually became his directorial debut. “It’s set in a modernized India, and we take one of the oldest mythologies we have and put a brand-new spin on it. We’ve taken something and made it completely original. It vibrates with energy and soul and culture, and some of the most insane action.”

Inspired by the legend of the Hindu deity Hanuman, a symbol of wisdom, strength, courage, devotion and self-discipline, “Monkey Man” is an action thriller about one man’s quest for vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor and powerless. 

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.

Besides the legend of Hanuman, action films also inspired “Monkey Man,” including Korean revenge-action (Patel is a big fan of this genre in Korean cinema which, for him, “took the revenge genre to a whole new level”) like “The Man from Nowhere” and “Oldboy,” alongside groundbreaking film series such as “John Wick.” 

Another familiar name behind the scenes of “Monkey Man” is Jordan Peele (“Get Out,” “Us,” “Nope”) and his Monkeypaw Productions. “I’m struck with how many shots that feel like one take – one that feels so fluid and visceral,” Peele says. “Then Dev, as a physical performer, as a fighter, has such a unique action quality to his movement. There’s so much to take in but, ultimately, there are the moments of visceral violence that are real ‘holy-shit’ moments. #MonkeyManMoviePH

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