Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of April 8, 2024

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton 

Week of April 8, 2024

Monkey Man

Rated R for sexual content/nudity, language throughout, drug use and strong bloody violence

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

In Theaters

Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) writes, directs and stars in this new revenge thriller about a young Indian man, living on the streets of Mumbai, who dreams of revenge against the man who killed his mother, and the system that gave that man power.  Shaping itself like an Indian version of John Wick (and even paying homage to that franchise) the film is an exhilarating action flick that captures your attention from the opening scene until the closing credits.  Showing the city as a cesspool of corruption and depravity, the movie doesn’t exactly serve as a travel commercial for Mumbai, but it does deliver a background that has you cheering for the hero that much more, as you see his struggle just to survive until he has the opportunity to follow his dream of vengeance for those that took everything from him.  Unlike Wick though, you don’t get the sense that his fighting ability comes from decades of skilled execution, but rather from just being desperate and scrappy.  With his big training montage at the end of the second act, I’m not certain that there is enough there to propel him into the finale, but it is nonetheless fun to watch, and it doesn’t over-pronounce itself.  Being that this is heavily focused on Indian culture and religion, much of the tapestry of the movie might not make sense to an American audience, especially the rationale for the title Monkey Man, which references the Hindu god Hanuman and his plight.  But having a great knowledge of Hinduism is hardly necessary since the universal tale of revenge is vastly more important.  If you’re still interested in learning more after you see it, then there’s a world of information available for you.  Overall, I found the movie to be a lot of fun and a tremendous amount of value to your entertainment dollar.  Consider me a Monkey Man fan.  A-

The First Omen

Rated R for violence content, grisly/disturbing images and brief graphic nudity

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

In Theaters

This period horror flick, taking place in the early 1970s in Italy, tells the story of a young American who moves to Rome to begin her life as a nun.  Before she can take her vows though, she discovers a series of grisly truths that cause her to give pause to her decision.  It’s so wild that the recent film Immaculate and this tale are so similar in their basic story, so much that it is incredibly distracting.  That being said, this is a better film, with better acting and far better production values, but unfortunately it is not extremely scary or disturbing.  Billed as the prequel to the original 1976 The Omen, and the trilogy that ensued, it’s hard to think of the film as anything but irrelevant in its goal to give a backstory to a set of movies that weren’t very good in the first place.  Although the original was a modest hit, making a prequel now is a rather risky venture given that so few people, outside of its cult following, could tell you anything about it.  They would have been better off here just creating a new franchise. C+