The Ape Of Wrath

- Will Salmon

Broadly comedic but far more brutal than the live-action Disney+ shows


UK Disney+, streaming now

US Hulu, streaming now Showrunner­s Will Speck, Josh Gordon Cast Jason Sudeikis, Fred Tatasciore,

Olivia Munn, George Takei

How’s this for a needlessly convoluted premise? Bryce (Jason Sudeikis) is an injured assassin saved from the Yakuza by a tribe of monkeys. During his convalesce­nce he befriends a young macaque (voiced with grunts and screams by Fred Tatasciore) and teaches him how to shoot. Eventually the gangsters show up and slaughter everyone, but Hit-monkey survives and – egged on by Bryce’s ghost – seeks revenge.

With its irreverent tone, bloody violence and spectral buddy comedy dynamic, Hit-monkey feels a little bit Deadpool, a little bit Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased) and a lot like Archer. Although Marvel references abound, it isn’t in the mainline MCU continuity, which gives showrunner­s Will Speck and Josh Gordon the freedom to play a little rough. Although broadly comedic, this is far more brutal than the live-action Disney+ shows.

It’s also frustratin­g. The animation is middling. The Yakuza are characterl­ess, disposable villains and Bryce shares a similar flaw to Sudeikis’s most famous character, Ted Lasso: a wearying inability to shut the hell up. Sometimes the constant stream of quips and pop culture references leaves poor old Hit-monkey feeling like a supporting character in his own show.

Happily, the second half of the season is stronger. An episode that separates the duo allows for a decent amount of pathos and insight, while the arrival of a certain Daredevil villain adds a much-needed sense of peril to proceeding­s.

Still, you’d expect a show about a ghost and a monkey assassin to be riotously entertaini­ng. As it is, it’s… fine. It’s just fine.

Hit-monkey was created by Daniel Way and Dalibor Talajic, first appearing in 2010’s Hit-monkey #1 and Deadpool #19-21.

 ?? ?? The punkiest monkey that ever popped.
The punkiest monkey that ever popped.

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