Funky Monkey Release Date: 2004 Genre: Comedy | Family Director(s): Harry Basil (The 4th Tenor, Back By Midnight) Writer(s): Lance Kinsey & Gene Quintano (The Musketeer) Starring: Matthew Modine, Gilbert Gottfried, Roma Downey Ever since Dunston Checks In ten years ago, Hollywood hasn’t been all that inviting to the family friendly monkey genre. There have […]

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Funky Monkey
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Comedy | Family
Director(s): Harry Basil (The 4th Tenor, Back By Midnight)
Writer(s): Lance Kinsey & Gene Quintano (The Musketeer)
Starring: Matthew Modine, Gilbert Gottfried, Roma Downey

Ever since Dunston Checks In ten years ago, Hollywood hasn’t been all that inviting to the family friendly monkey genre. There have been quite a few direct-to-video monkey flicks since then, but theatrical just hasn’t seemed like an actual option for them. For whatever reason the people at Franchise Pictures saw the home video results for the M.V.P. films, and as a result, greenlit a theatrical monkey movie starring Matthew Modine.

Yes, the same Matthew Modine who last starred in a major theatrical release back in 1995 with the highly successful and critically acclaimed Cutthroat Island.

Okay, maybe not the best choice. Next came the shoot, which took place in France in 2003. That’s not what you get on the screen, though. The geniuses decided to have a man perform in a monkey suit, and when the cut was deemed unreleasable, they didn’t just throw it direct-to-video. Seeing money in Funk y Monkey, they reshot almost the entire movie in San Diego a year and a half ago. After all that, well, it was thrown direct-to-video.

Jack McCall (Modine) is one of those super secret agent types who is brought in to make trainees experts in the field. He recently came to a close on his weirdest mission ever; training a monkey named Clemens. Thanks to McCall, he’s become an expert at kung fu. After receiving his check, he’s ready to leave and get on with his life. But when syringes are pulled out in order to dope up Clemens, he realizes that Clemens is not safe under the care of the CIA. He breaks Clemens out, which eventually leads them to meet the typical nerdy kid that is always seen in a movie involving animals. While Clemens gets himself into all kinds of monkey hijinks, McCall tries to bang the kids mom, and lets not forget that the evil CIA director wants his monkey back.

Funky Monkey is a messy effort that works best when it allows itself to go completely tongue-in-cheek. The football finale is a great example. But when it falters, going into emotional crap and unfunny jokes, it gets pretty downright bad. Cheesy jokes coming together with cheesy tv-movie-like editing doesn’t result in a great movie.

Gilbert Gottfried shows up for a short cameo, although for what reason I do not know.

DVD: Barebones.

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Funky Monkey, 4.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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