Monk’s new movie looks more like Mr. Monk’s movie

Hadrian Monk has always been consistent. He was never a fan of germs, heights, loud noises, crowds, elevators, milk, or much else. But he knows how to solve a murder. a monk, USA Network’s 2000 procedural centered around the fictional detective played by Tony Shaloub, was less consistent; after a few seasons, the show seems to morph its mysteries from the most awkward situations they can put Monk in for an episode. The quality of the show suffered as a result, but Shaloub’s compassion and meticulous care always tied the show to something.



The Last Case of Mr. Monk: A Monk MoviePeacock’s new special, which brings back Shaloub, Monk and most of the series’ characters, throws out the little sequence a monk maintained. It’s been over a decade since he finally solved his wife Trudy’s murder, and life after COVID hasn’t been kind to him. With his memoir canceled, Monk can’t afford to pay for his stepdaughter Molly’s (Caitlin McGee) wedding, causing him to feel depressed and contemplate suicide. He puts his plans on hold when he’s forced to solve one last case on Molly’s behalf, but throughout the film Monk feels broken, so much so that the ghost of Trudy (Melora Hardin) has to step in numerous times to talk him through the bad moments.

Unfortunately what Mr. Monk’s latest case is built on – the sadness that underlies the whole Monk situation – falters because it doesn’t seem right. And even worse: The resurgence of direct movie streaming is a blatant imitation of what a monk did better elsewhere.

The special suffers from many of the traditional problems that come with this type of gathering. The central mystery he’s here to solve grows in a way the show couldn’t, a victim of a longer running time with no real footing to back it up. He’s trapped somewhere between the end of Monk’s story (it’s his Last case) and restarting it (it was pulled back for one last case!). Your mileage may vary depending on the things in the film that play on the nostalgia that such reboots are built on: Randy (Jason Grey-Stanford) is still a goof, and true fans still remember his musical “project.” Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) is still cocky and questions Monk’s logic. “This is a gift. And a curse.

Photo: Steve Wilkie/Peacock

Mr. Monk and Trudy in the new Peacock movie, vs. in one of Monk’s best episodes.

Image: NBC Universal

But such nostalgia seems to simply reread Monk’s main arc from the show. It should be noted that this is not the first time Monk has seen Trudy’s ghost. In season 3 of “Mr. Monk takes his medicine,” Monk is particularly desperate about his limitations and pulls Trudy’s old pillow out of a plastic bag in the closet and it appears, ethereal and brightly lit. The conversation they have is a speed development of everything Mr. Monk’s latest case tries to build his emotional line on: his fear of change (and his fear of “not changing”), how much he misses her, how he’s afraid his life will always feel so hopeless.

Over the course of this episode, he tries medication – which relieves his anxiety but also turns him into an ass and a bad detective – and decides to keep messing with the treatment plan he’s been on. These can be recurring problems for someone like Monk, and indeed Shaloub’s portrait carries a graceful, endless weariness. But Mr. Monk’s latest case it feels trite compared to what a 42-minute episode could already cover.

In this season three episode, Trudy’s heavenly presence just feels that much more real; a monk it wasn’t bringing in the real Trudy from the spectral plane, but rather Monk’s imagination of what Trudy might have been there to tell him. Coupled with Shaloub’s gut-wrenching voice and deep despair, the moment between them is heartbreakingly serious and speaks to his relationship and conviction better than any cut corners in the film. At the end of the special, he rather wandered into it Mr. Monk’s signature film than an episode of a monk. This is especially true when he tries to connect his musings with Trudy to the case at hand: he complains about the endless crime statistics, but Monk has never been driven by his impact or his legacy, and certainly not by “stopping the killing “. ” He was good at puzzles, a damn good detective, and just as tough when it came to righteousness as he was purity.

Besides the obvious comfort of revisiting the a monk crew, Mr. Monk’s latest case feels entirely built on giving him closure and a future. But that’s something the last episode of the series has already offered him. While “Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine” was about maintaining the status quo to continue the series, the series finale introduces him to Molly, prompting him to finally decide to live his life rather than just relive it. Mr. Monk’s latest case throws that out the window for a post-Covid world, but has nothing new, insightful, or even comforting to offer Monk or the viewer.

There’s always been a tragic undercurrent to all of Monk’s chic, big jazz soundtrack aside. The central cliché of Monk’s life—a brilliant detective who could solve anything but his own wife’s murder—was as much a plot as a trap that crystallized his growth and prevented him (as he repeatedly admitted) from believing that he had ever you will be really happy or free from his OCD symptoms again. Bringing Monk to the brink only to be held back by his wife’s ghost isn’t the solution the special thinks it is.

Mr. Monk’s latest case now streaming on Peacock.

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