Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul veteran Bob Odenkirk joins the ranks of Keanu Reeves, Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington, gaining surprising geriaction-hero status in his late 50s. Following the game-changing John Wick series, writer Derek Kolstad is back and he means business with this spin on the action-thriller genre, complete with explosive fight sequences and visceral violence from the unexpected star.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry), Nobody centres on the seemingly quiet and domesticated father Hutch (Bob Odenkirk) from the suburbs who plays by the rules, following the same routine day-in-day-out. However, when two thieves break into his house and assault his son Blake (Gage Munroe), a long-simmering rage is unlocked, resulting in a violent outbreak later in the week. However his actions lead him on a dangerous path, as he goes head to head with a deadly Russian adversary (famed Russian actor Aleksey Serebryakov), unearthing dark secrets from his past along the way.
Nobody is an action-packed, bonkers thrill-ride, with a fun and shocking turn from Odenkirk who expertly flips the domesticated suburban family man stereotype on it’s head. Following a cleverly edited opening, documenting the repetitive and boring nature of domestic life, Odenkirk’s Hutch truly comes to life while facing the home intruders and then a rowdy group on public transport. The action truly kicks into gear once Hutch begins to go toe-to-toe with the Russians, in a simple narrative which is pretty much a beat for beat duplicate of John Wick, with elements lifted from Home Alone and The Equalizer. However, there’s a cheeky, almost comedic nature to the flick, which sets it apart from Kolstad’s previous series and The Taken films. While it doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, the punchy pacing and impressive bursts of violence still prove entertaining.
As a huge fan of Emmy winner Bob Odenkirk, particularly in Better Call Saul, it’s absolutely fascinating to see a completely different side to the actor. He’s infectiously charismatic as Hutch, and surprisingly excels throughout the action and fight sequences. He excels throughout the fight choreography, and it appears that he’s truly reveling in the role, particularly as his violent past is unlocked when he discovers his daughter Sammy’s kitty cat bracelet has gone missing. However legendary actor Christopher Lloyd steals the show as Hutch’s father, particularly in the typical explosive third act, paired with musician-actor RZA as Hutch’s mysterious brother. However Wonder Woman’s Connie Nielsen is completely wasted as Hutch’s long-suffering wife, which is a real shame, particularly as there’s hardly any female characters in the flick which leans heavily into the somewhat problematic portrayal of male rage and revenge.
David Leitch and Chad Stahelski’s stunt team at 87North return to choreograph the brutal but well staged bone-crunching violence, with plenty of car chases, explosive shoot outs and inventive take downs to keep the most hardcore action fans happy. Highlights include a particularly relentless beating on a bus as Hutch gives as good as he gets against a group of five lads, along with the gleefully destructive closing set piece. The film also features a great soundtrack, complete with entertaining needle drops, alongside a nod to John Wick with the appearance of a cute kitten.
Featuring viscerally violent set pieces and a surprisingly impressive action lead in Bob Odenkirk, Nobody is an absurdly fun thriller – can we get a John Wick expanded universe now please?!