It takes a little narrative manoeuvring—some of it awkward—to get to the high concept of Hit Monkey, Marvel/Disney’s latest small screen offering. So rather than recount the setup, here’s the pitch: after his… tribe? Pack? Troop? Whatever. After all his fellow monkeys are massacred by the Yakuza, a Japanese macaque (grunts and screeches courtesy of veteran VO guy Fred Tatasciore) decides to massacre the Yakuza right back.
The little ape dons a sleek black suit and wraparound sunglasses, lending him some John Woo/Chow Yun Fat/Takeshi Kitano style to go with his penchant for dual-wielding guns. He starts killing his way up the ladder, with aid from the sardonic ghost of American assassin Bryce Fowler (Jason Sudeikis), who was killed by the same bad guys and now sort of Force Ghosts his way through the 10 episode series, advising our hero on a ‘the enemy of my murderer is my friend’ basis.
Other characters fall into the main pair’s orbit, including a pair of honest cops, Ito (Nobi Nakanishi) and Haruka (Ally Maki), trying to figure out if a monkey is really responsible for rush hour at the morgue; progressive politician Shinji (George Takei) and his niece Akiko (Olivia Munn); and Marvel Comics B-listers Fat Cobra (sumo wrestler with electric feet) and Silver Samurai (exactly what it says), both voiced by Noshir Dalal.
Later on, Daredevil villain Lady Bullseye (Reiko Aylesworth) shows up to offer a higher calibre of bad guy, but really, this is a one note show: there’s a monkey, he’s a hitman. That’s the joke.