- Directed by Ilya Naishuller
- March 26, 2021 (US) / June 9, 2021 (UK)
A bored family man reaches back into his former life after his home is robbed which ultimately makes him the target of Russian mobsters.
I finally got around to seeing Nobody and I am kicking myself for waiting so long. It is by far one of the best action films I have seen in a very long time. I had my doubts before watching it though. I did not think Bob Odenkirk could pull off being a badass, but not only did he do it and do it well he was joined by Christopher Lloyd who at this late stage in his life pulled off being a badass too.
The story focuses on the seemingly normal Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) whose family is the victim of a home invasion. He apparently freezes during the incident and does nothing when he has the chance to jump one while his son Blake (Gage Munroe) is fighting another of the individuals.
Your initial thought is that this will be another movie about a schlub who gets pushed too far and finds their inner alpha and goes on a butt kicking spree. But that is not necessarily the case. The beginning does start out as such and tosses you the red herring of some guy who is trying to track down the criminals and exact a little revenge. You even get montages of how mundane and predictable Hutch’s life is. But as this movie goes on and Hutch engages in more and more acts of violence you realize that unless they are going for a nonsensical 80s action movie here this guy is a lot more than he seems.
Bob Odenkirk is not a name that I would connect to action movies. Not even to cast as an out there choice. Let me digress a bit. The first time I ever saw Nicolas Cage in an action movie I thought to myself he was an outside choice, but I could see him pulling it off. After I had time to think of Michael Keaton as Batman I said to myself “Not my first choice but he might be able to do something with it.” My thinking when I heard about Bob Odenkirk being cast in an action movie was “What dirt does he have on the casting director and the producers?”
And pairing him with Christopher Lloyd who turns out to be an equally bad ass individual? That is the second most illogical casting I have ever thought of. Somehow though it manages to all work. You have got to hand it to director Ilya Naishuller and writer Derek Kolstad for making this all come off so well.
Hutch leads a mundane life working an office job in his father-in-law Eddie’s (Michael Ironside) metal fabrication company along with his brother-in-law Charlie (Billy MacLellan). His life grinds on him and his big dream is to buy out Eddie and run the business himself. His marriage to his successful wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) has grown a bit stale and you think he is looking for a change. He unloads his problems to a guy he talks to on a ham radio (RZA).
It turns out though our hero is a retired auditor for “one of those three letter agencies.” That sounds rather boring, but this is not an auditor that looks over the books. This type of auditor is an auditor that kills somebody when witnesses need to be eliminated.
Odenkirk was great not only as a boring father but also great as a tough guying dispensing beatdowns. He made Hutch more than that though. Hutch became sympathetic under Odenkirk. All Hutch wanted was a quiet life but could not quite keep it or remain happy in it. Hutch had become bored and was now finding himself in a marriage going through the motions. Interesting he became a better man after unleashing his first beating in many years.
And what is a hero without a villain? After having decided to not exact revenge on the people that robbed him, Hutch decides to return home feeling impotent and powerless. An auto accident involving a Humvee intersects him with some rather violent Russian criminals. After thoroughly kicking their asses, we learn that one of them is connected to a psychotic and very ruthless powerful Russian gangster named Yulian (Aleksei Serebryakov) who decides to unleash holy hell on our hero because Hutch left his brother in the hospital.
Nobody contains great dark humor. There were points where they managed to get a genuine laugh out of death or the general violence being perpetrated on screen. In that aspect it reminds me of an 80s action film which in my view was a high point for the action genre. This film also uses our desire to be able to become super powerful and take on all comers should the need arise.
Ilya Naishuller is the same director that was behind Hardcore Henry. Hardcore Henry in and of itself was an original concept but this was much better executed than that film was. The story was much more cohesive with much better acting.
Nobody is just a great movie! I think this will eventually come to be seen as a high point, if not classic, of the action genre. Action fans will most definitely love this so this is a must see!