Plot: An athlete turned quadriplegic receives assistance from a trained monkey that, unbeknownst to him, has been genetically altered.
Monkey Shines opens on an athlete, Allan, who is obliterated by a Mack truck during a morning jog. Now paralyzed from the neck down, Allan must cope with his new living situation. To help with the transition, Allan’s scientist friend offers the assistance of a trained monkey. Little does Allen know, but this monkey had been the target of a scientific experiment designed to increase brain function. Allan and the monkey quickly develop a strong bond—so strong, in fact, they become telepathically linked. Soon, the monkey begins acting upon any emotion conjured by Allen. If Allen gets mad at ex-girlfriend, monkey kills ex-girlfriend. If Allen gets mad at mother, monkey kills mother. Allen does not actually want these murders to happen, but he is helpless to stop the monkey in his paralyzed state. Eventually, Allen and the monkey duke it out. It’s even less exciting than it sounds. And that’s the movie in a nutshell.
Monkey Shines perfectly toes the line of mediocrity. There aren’t enough terrible aspects to loathe it nor enough memorable moments to treasure it. On a good day it’s a time waster; on a bad day it’s a waste of time. Either way, this movie is far too bland to warrant a recommendation.