Hollywood is rife with stories about protagonists who imagine in their minds the things they want and long to do as a response but never do in real life. That bully they should have stood up to in school, or the dumb one who bumped shoulders with you and never apologized. Or the one who wouldn’t give way on the roads, so you relented as the bigger man. But in your head, you imagined a different outcome and wondered why you never took it.
Well, Hutch Mansell didn’t, even though he could.
Part fulfillment fantasy, part lone action hero, and all about stylized action, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) and director Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry) bring audiences Nobody.
Hutch is your everyday, mundane, regular family man whose life is pretty normal and in some ways, pathetic. All he does is exercise, go to work, and comes home to his wife who only talks to him when he misses the garbage man. But he wasn’t always like this in his previous life as an auditor with the FBI.
And when bad guys break into the house, Hutch watches as his son tussles with the burglars, but does nothing, much to the shame of his children, wife, and neighbors, who wonder, why didn’t he do something?
As it turns out, Hutch isn’t an auditor with the FBI, but a man with certain skills and talent that have remained dormant, until he went out on a hunt for the burglars, intent of reclaiming what was lost – his daughter’s Abby’s kitty bracelet, along with his watch that was stolen.
What’s fun about this movie is that it defies expectations, mainly because we have an impression of Odenkirk, and presume to know what he is capable, or rather, incapable of, and that’s a great set up for a Death Wish-style action flick, except that this one comes with a certain pedigree.
Director Ilya Naishuller only has one movie to his credit, but Hardcore Henry is the kind of debut flick that most directors wish they had. Born in Russia and educated in London, Naishuller has an eye for details and uses it to great stylistic effect here. And if the plot sounds a tad familiar, of ex-special forces, robbers taking something that is not theirs, absolute rage and revenge against the Russian mafia – well, this movie is produced by David Leitch and written by Derek Kolstad – the duo who created the fan-favorite John Wick franchise.
But of course, there is a difference between the two. While John Wick is an all out revenge flick, Nobody starts off with revenge being the trigger, but it’s less intense and serious, and more of a dark comedy about rediscovering one’s self, which is a person many of us used to know, but things and life get in the way.
In the midst of gunfire and blood splatters, Nobody manages to add touching themes of family and love, as Hutch not only has to defend his family, he also has to protect them from the harsh dangers of his past. The fact that his whole interaction with the Russian mafia on the bus was just because he was dead-set on getting Abby’s bracelet back, displays his unwavering determination to keep his family safe, albeit a bit after the fact.
And if you think Odenkirk as the action hero defies expectations, how about watching the great Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future) as his dad? With Odenkirk, it’s like watching Clark Kent transform into Superman. At first, he’s plain sloppy and rusty after getting some hits by a group of teenagers that rampage the bus he is on, but after a warm-up, he manages to immobilize most of the gang and shows off his hardcore medical skills by using a straw to save a Russian teenager (which happens to be a Russian mafia boss’ brother) from choking on his own blood. After over 30 years in front of the camera, it’s great to see Odenkirk filling the role of a man hungry for action and some spice in his life, and then morphing into a killer who will hurt anyone who goes near his family.
As for Lloyd, well, where do you think his son learned it all from? It’s a new role he’s taken up but he comes, in the end, to save Hutch with the help of Harry Hansell, Hutch’s half-brother, guns blazing.
Even though the fight scenes are great to see, the story itself is also one of happenstance. In some of the scenes, it was only due to perfect product placement that Hutch could get out of his predicament. Maybe this was planned since Hutch was an ex-veteran that mafia-proofed his house but it was pretty unrealistic that his weapons were all in his reach when he needed it.
Nobody is a great film about an aging veteran that was itching to get back in on some action. He will have to figure out a way to carry on with life as an assassin while still being able to be a loving husband and father. The elements that all the actors brought out of the plot were badass and thrilling that was unique and unforgettable.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Nobody is a great addition to the action genre. It has the occasional 1v10 fight scenes, but not losing touch with the emotional aspects of life, like humor and love.
Story - 8/10
Direction - 7/10
Characterisation - 8/10
Geek Satisfaction - 7.5/10