One of the most exciting John Wick-style action movies coming out in 2024 has already avoided a huge problem faced by the franchise’s copycats.
Monkey Man, a John Wick-style action movie directed by Dev Patel, has the advantage of a theatrical release, thanks to Jordan Peele and his production company.
Netflix has had underwhelming John Wick copycats in its library, and Monkey Man deserves better than to join them.
Monkey Man has a fighting chance at becoming a commercial success, especially if it receives positive reviews from critics.
One of the most exciting John Wick-style action movies coming out in 2024 has already avoided a massive problem faced by a lot of the franchise’s copycats. Dev Patel’s feature directorial debut, Monkey Man, is a nail-biting action thriller starring Patel as a grizzled antihero out for revenge.
Based on the trailer, Monkey Man is borrowing the intense, visceral, rapid-paced style of action that was popularized by the John Wick franchise. The fight scenes are brutal and messy, with Patel’s lead character taking on entire gangs of goons all by himself.
Ever since the John Wick franchise came along with its stylish visuals, blood-soaked action scenes, and oddly lovable title character, action filmmakers have been working tirelessly to replicate its success.
Some John Wick knockoffs have succeeded admirably, like Sisu, Nobody, and Atomic Blonde, while others, like Polar and The Mother, have paled in comparison to the Keanu Reeves-starring action noir masterpiece.
Monkey Man won’t be released until April 5, but it already has a huge advantage over most of the other John Wick clones out there.
Monkey Man Looks Like It Deserves A Theatrical Release
Monkey Man was almost sold to Netflix for an acquisition fee of around $30 million, which would’ve resulted in a streaming-only release.
Fortunately, Jordan Peele and his production company Monkeypaw Productions swooped in to poach Monkey Man from Netflix and ensure that it would get a proper theatrical release.
Peele felt that Patel’s movie “deserved a theatrical release,” so he partnered with Universal Pictures to acquire Monkey Man out from under Netflix’s thumb. Now, when it arrives on April 5, audiences will be able to see it on a big screen.
Based on the riveting action sequences and cinematic visuals seen in the trailer, Peele is absolutely right that Monkey Man deserves a theatrical release.
Audiences wouldn’t get the same visceral thrill from watching Patel’s bone-crunching fight scenes on a small screen at home.
Fast-paced, action-packed movies like this demand to be seen on a big screen with the audience’s full, undivided attention.
It’s great that filmmakers like Peele are out there, using their clout to give these smaller films a chance at theatrical glory.
Monkey Man has been described as “John Wick in Mumbai.”
Netflix Has Had A Lot Of Underwhelming John Wick Copycats Already
If Netflix had succeeded in acquiring Monkey Man and dumped it in its streaming library, then it would’ve joined the slew of John Wick copycats on Netflix. Netflix has produced a ton of John Wick-style action movies in a bid to replicate the franchise’s success.
Kate, Polar, Xtreme, The Mother, and Gunpowder Milkshake all revolve around a Wick-like action hero on a warpath.
Monkey Man deserves so much better than to join bargain-bin actioners like Kate in Netflix’s ever-expanding glut of original content.
Netflix is desperate to have its own John Wick-style action franchise. Grounded action movies about assassins are a lot cheaper to produce than high-concept blockbuster-type fare like Bright, Rebel Moon, and Army of the Dead, and it’s easy to keep pumping them out when audiences demand sequels.
But almost all of Netflix’s John Wick clones have been panned by critics and dismissed by audiences. Monkey Man deserves a much nobler fate than that.
Will Monkey Man Be A Success In Theaters?
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict which movies will succeed at the box office, especially in the post-pandemic era.
Oppenheimer and Top Gun: Maverick both performed well above their box office predictions, while The Flash and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny both performed well below expectations. There’s no way to accurately predict how well a film will do.
But based on the warm reception to Monkey Man’s trailer and the action scenes that warrant a big-screen viewing – paired with the film’s reasonably low budget – this one has a fighting chance at becoming a commercial success.
Right now, Monkey Man’s commercial prospects look good, because the trailer was well-received, but the moment that will seal its fate is when the review embargo gets lifted.
If Monkey Man is met with positive reviews – and, if Peele’s assessment is accurate, it probably will be – then audiences will be more inclined to make the trip to the movie theater and put down the money to see it.
If it receives negative reviews, it’ll have less chance of success. But that seems unlikely, because it’s gotten the stamp of approval from Peele, who knows a thing or two about movies.