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Monkey Man Took One Thing From John Wick

Monkey Man Took One Thing From John Wick


  • Dev Patel’s
    Monkey Man
    sets a new standard for realistic male physiques in action movies, promoting healthier body image ideals.
  • Monkey Man
    marks a significant moment for Indian representation in the action genre, inspiring audiences and breaking typecasting barriers.
  • Monkey Man
    showcases Dev Patel’s athletic but attainable physique, emphasizing natural beauty and realistic standards.

Monkey Man has the potential to be the dark horse of the action genre this year. Starring, co-written, and directed by Dev Patel, Monkey Man blends John Wick-style action with Hindu mythology. The film follows a young man as he seeks vengeance against the corrupt officials who oppress his people and murdered his mother. The film premiered at SXSW earlier this year and was met with a five-minute standing ovation.

Dev Patel has delivered great performances and featured in big action movies before, including Chappie and A24’s The Green Knight. But Monkey Man is the British star’s first time in the leading role of an action-heavy blockbuster. Dev Patel’s starring role in Monkey Man is an important moment for the action genre. In addition to the style of fight choreography, Monkey Man also took one refreshing element from John Wick, and it shows that the industry is moving back in the right direction.

Monkey Man Features Realistic Male Physiques

Monkey Man

Monkey Man


Release Date
April 5, 2024

1hr 53min

Read Our Review

While the superhero genre is far from the monolith it was during the 2010s, it has left residual effects on the industry and audiences. During the height of the genre, audiences were obsessed with actors’ ‘superhero transformations.’ While seemingly innocent – because who can’t commend an out-of-shape actor for putting on 20lbs of muscle for a role – the phenomenon inadvertently caused a damaging trend in young men. Teenagers and young men have become obsessed with trying to look like the superheroes they saw on screen, and it’s damaging their bodies and their mental health.

That’s where John Wick and Monkey Man come in. John Wick is undoubtedly one of the coolest figures in the action genre. Keanu Reeves had to be in fantastic shape to keep up with the extensive choreography and stunt training. However, despite the fact that John Wick and probably Keanu Reeves could beat most action heroes in a fight, Reeves’ physique in the film was realistic and attainable. Reeves even shows his physique in the first film. The scene is brief but showcases John Wick’s natural, athletic build. His character is a better representation of a healthy male physique than most superhero movies.

It is this element that Monkey Man has taken from John Wick. Dev Patel has had to bulk up for roles in the past, most famously for his Oscar-nominated performance in Lion (2016). But Monkey Man has pushed his physical conditioning to another level. Despite that, Dev Patel still boasts a natural and attainable physique in the film. Seeing Patel kick-ass with an athletic but natural body shape will hopefully shift the industry toward a healthier representation of male body types in action movies.

The constant attention to an actor’s accentuated physique warped audiences’ perspectives on what a healthy and attainable male body actually looks like. Chris Hemsworth looks phenomenal as Thor, but his hulking physique isn’t naturally attainable for regular people. There have also been several accusations of some actors chemically enhancing their bodies for roles. While muscle-bound physiques in the action genre were on the rise, so was body dysmorphia in young men. Social media is filled with young men using steroids to achieve these action-star physiques. Not only is this severely damaging to their physical health, but also their mental well-being.

Monkey Man Is a Landmark for Indian Representation in the Action Genre

Monkey Man doesn’t just present audiences with healthy male physiques; it is also a significant step forward for Indian representation in the action genre. Dev Patel has been very public about his previous typecasting. Patel discussed how he was typecast by Hollywood, saying, “The only roles I was getting offered was the funny sidekick or the guy that hacks the mainframe,” while on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“I never had access to it… looking like this.”

Dev Patel has worked on Monkey Man for 10 years and cast himself in the leading role to counter his typecasting. The film hit theaters this weekend, and it’s already inspiring people. Patel later told Jimmy Fallon that he was approached by an older American-Indian man after Monkey Man‘s screening at SXSW. The man said he was “jealous of his 14-year-old son.” After Patel questioned why, the man said, “I never had someone like you expressed in a movie like this… and my son does.” Patel said the moment brought him to tears.


James Bond Fans Are Calling for Monkey Man Star Dev Patel to Be Next 007

Following his first action movie lead in Monkey Man, James Bond fans think they’ve found the next 007 in Dev Patel.

Bruce Lee was a major influence on Patel throughout the film’s production. In an interview with Jake’s Takes!, Dev Patel said watching Enter the Dragon “got me into films.” Bruce Lee was, for the longest time, the most iconic figure in the action genre. Lee was in incredible shape, but his physique was also naturally attainable. Bruce Lee’s popularity in Hollywood was also a landmark moment for Asian representation in cinema and has been cited by many Asian and Asian-American actors as their biggest influence and inspiration. Monkey Man is playing in theaters now.

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