Director Ilya Naishuller
Screenplay Derek Kolstad
Starring Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, RZA, Aleksei Serebryakov, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Ironside
Watching Bob Odenkirk live out his John Wick fantasy is a treat for any asshole who pictures himself something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We get a steady dose of humble in our daily lives. We push forward through pain and missed opportunity. Somewhere down there, in the valiant sub-cockles of one’s heart, awaits the opportunity to take all of the bullets out of a gun prior to kicking the ass of a bunch of rude ruffians on a public bus. This is the start of something bigger, of course. It’s nothing that can’t be prepared for with a few well placed weapons and friends.
As Hutch Mansell, Odenkirk piles on the miserable at the start of Nobody. In a somewhat overboard fashion, he eats slice after slice of humble pie as his wife looks disappointed and his son looks ashamed. Thank God his youngest still loves him. Her missing cat bracelet is catalyst for his retransformation from working schlub to his former existence as government goon for all of the three letter departments unable to handle the tough cases.
If it is all a bit too obvious in the first act, don’t worry. The symmetry of the story will kick in and the humor inherent with the lead will begin to shine as others provide all of the stupid questions for his snappy answers.
The action is what one should expect from a Damon Leitch production. Smartly we see that Hutch is not an immaculate fighter and the bad guys have to get their licks in to make his eventual wins feel more authentic. Even better, the rest of the protagonist team of RZA and Christopher Lloyd are given plausibly stylistic methods with which to shine when the moment requires. Perhaps best, this is the first film I have ever seen where Michael Ironside isn’t killed horribly for his ignorance.
The story is nothing new. Russian bad guy’s brother gets his ass handed to him by a newly resurgent Hutch. Hutch then spends the rest of the film withstanding retaliation until he decides to take the fight to them. None of this is new, but damn it feels great.
Odenkirk occupies a rare spot of being able to do comedy and drama simultaneously, as we have seen in one of the great shows of all time, Better Call Saul. Here he gets to add action to the mix, and it feels like the other two components for the smarts with which they approach his battles. This is all great fun until one realizes that he burns up a pretty nice collection of LPs in the process.
This film, like so many in this covid season, deserves a better release than it is getting. Still, it went on to top the box office. So it has that going for it.
It’s the type of film that will find repeat viewings with its core audience. The direction and script are solid enough to let its star and his retinue look great while killing less intelligent foes. I hope the mid-credits scene leads to something more. I would definitely watch this family in a few sequels.
(***1/2 out of *****)