Bob Odenkirk as Hutch Mansell
Connie Nielsen as Becca Mansell
RZA as Harry Mansell
Aleksei Serebryakov as Yulian Kuznetsov
Christopher Lloyd as David Mansell
Gage Munroe as Blake Mansell
Paisley Cadorath as Sammy Mansell
Michael Ironside as Eddie Williams
Colin Salmon as the barber
Directed by Ilya Naishuller; Written by Derek Kolstad
Almost five years ago, with his directorial debut, the audience was introduced to the creative spirit of Ilya Naishuller for the first time Hardcore Henrywhich proved to be one of the most innovative films of 2016 and the decade, establishing him as a talent for the action genre. Now he’s finally back with the film directed by Bob Odenkirk Nobody, an absolute thriller that brilliantly combines the worlds of Vince Gilligan Better call Saul and Keanu Reeves’ John Wick in a darkly funny, tough ride.
Hutch Mansell is an underrated and meek family man who does not stand up to the hardships of his life. One night two thieves break into his suburban home and he refuses to defend himself or his family in hopes of avoiding serious complications. Disappointed with Hutch, his son Blake and wife Becca begin to distance themselves from him. Hutch decides to look for his daughter’s special jewelery in the robbery, runs against some dangerous people and ignites his resentment at being an unfounded father and husband. He finds his suppressed abilities awakened and the dark secrets of his past unearthed.
With a script out John Wick Franchise creator / writer Derek Kolstad comes as no surprise that some elements of the story come from the Reeves-directed series, underestimating, and even feeling like borrowing, a seemingly normal man in a town with more mafia than law enforcement a couple of things from the Michael Douglas lead role Falling down and Denzel Washington vehicle The equalizer. That being said, no beat feels like a cheap discount, but rather an interesting homage to the various action films, all of which come together to create an entertaining and easy-to-tell story to get the viewer to grasp from the set piece and carry the piece.
Speaking of which, though not nearly as neatly executed as that wick Movies, the action scenes in the movie are all incredibly exciting, uniquely designed, and an absolute delight for fans of the genre, but their development helps make them feel fresh and thematically appropriate. Unlike other similar films where the protagonist is a bad ass from the start, scoring little or no hits in every fight, the audience watches as Hutch messy defeats enemies and takes a number of devastating in his first few fights looking hits to hone his skills again and become a certified ass kicker, and it offers a much nicer advancement for his fights. This clutter also presents the stunt team and coordinators with a better challenge of adding a touch of controlled chaos to the early standards and making them all the more exciting and authentic.
While a movie like this can certainly be based on some well-acted action sequences, what can really help elevate it or add further entertainment value is a well-written or charismatic lead role, and Odenkirk sure delivers a spades in something in return for the star. Odenkirk’s Hutch is a far quieter, more upbeat person who the Emmy-winning streak employs from the few truly moving character moments his wife and family are involved in, to the cold and calculating bad ass he used to be and the one Struggle to hold everything back in his new quiet life. His performance becomes all the more exciting as Hutch becomes his old self knowing he’s set in action hero tropics and enjoys every moment pulling villains into dramatic face-offs, dropping cheesy one-liners, and so on and so on. While Aleksei Serebryakov’s Yulian may not be the pimped up or intimidating villain like other genre dishes à la Michael Nyqvist’s Viggo Tarasov or Paul Giamatti’s Karl Hertz, he has a more intriguing arc of characters than most to keep it interesting.
Nobody The wheel of his genre is certainly not being reinvented, but it beats it enough with a skillful action, stylish direction from Naishuller, a wonderfully dark sense of humor, and a great performance from Odenkirk that demands that he do more action pictures as well is an absolute joy that keeps the audience on their toes and beams with excitement.