Thanks to ‘Monkey Man,’ Dev Patel is our next action star and director

Patel’s directorial debut is violent, thoughtful and impressive. PLUS: Warner Bros. enters ‘The Matrix’ again, Julia Garner accepts the Silver Surfer mantle, and ‘Star Wars’ launches ‘Tales of the Empire.'

Thanks to ‘Monkey Man,’ Dev Patel is our next action star and director
Dev Patel in Monkey Man. / Universal Pictures

Hello! It’s the first Popculturology of April, which means I’m stuffing Starburst jelly beans into my face as I write this edition.

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Congrats to Dev Patel on turning himself simultaneously into both our next action star and action director.

I caught a showing of Monkey Man, Patel’s directorial debut, on Thursday night. The film, which Patel also stars in and cowrote, is not only an impressive first outing for Patel as a director but also showcased a side of him that he’s yet to show in his career.

“There were action scripts that came in, but I was always offered the sidekick, or the tech guy, or the whatever,” Patel told Men’s Health. “I knew I had so much more to offer.”

I’ve seen a lot of the promotional material for Monkey Man refer to it as Patel’s John Wick. While the film does deliver several jaw-dropping fight sequences, it’s actually much more stripped down than John Wick while also touching on politics and class structure. (Yes, the film is incredibly violent. Thankfully no one brought their kids to it like they did for one of my Dune: Part Two showings.)