While we patiently wait for the return of John Wick and another dose of bad guy ass-kicking action from Keanu Reeves, along comes another movie to fill the void. Written by Derek Kolstad, who actually created and wrote the John Wick franchise, Nobody has a very similar feel about it to the John Wick movies. But, surprisingly, it actually turned out to be a much tighter, more violent and even more enjoyable movie than all of those movies, and I had an absolute blast watching it.
The “hero” of Nobody is the seemingly meek and mild everyman Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk). In just a few short minutes we get a look into the daily grind of family man Hutch, which seems to just repeat pretty much week in week out. As the days of the week roll by, we see Hutch repeatedly get up, get coffee, go to work, roll into bed late and forget to take the trash out, only to be told by his wife that he forgot. His marriage appears to have grown stale, with both Hutch and his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) sleeping with pillows between them in bed. And his kids don’t really respect him either. He’s… well, he’s a nobody.
Life goes from bad to worse for Hutch when a pair of burglars break into his house in the middle of the night. Hutch goes down to investigate the noise and there’s an altercation, but it’s actually between his son Blake (Gage Munroe) and one of the burglars, who he now has in a sleeper hold on the floor. As Hutch raises a golf club to use against the other burglar who’s holding a gun, he appears to chicken out and the pair of crooks manage to escape. When the cops arrive, they don’t understand why Hutch didn’t take his chance to stand up to the intruders in order to protect his family. And his macho next-door neighbour has no qualms in telling him the same thing too.
Are we watching a man who’s finally been pushed to his limit, ready to unleash a side to him that’s never been revealed before? Well, turns out that Hutch isn’t quite the man everyone thinks he is, and there’s a dark backstory to Hutch that’s been pushed into the background for a while, laying dormant in favour of a shot at quiet family life. It takes a while for us to learn what he’s capable of though, starting off with a late-night bus ride that gets boarded by a bunch of drunk Russian guys looking for trouble. Hutch seems to relish the opportunity to deliver his particular set of skills, resulting in the first of many beautifully choreographed and brutal fight scenes still to come.
Unfortunately, one of the goons receiving a beating on the bus is the brother of Yulian (Aleksey Serebyakov ), a Russian mobster with plenty of connections and even more goons at his disposal, so it’s not long before things start to rapidly escalate. Not that Hutch is worried in the slightest, it’s just more guys for him to take out in the most painful and entertaining (for us anyway) way possible. The only thing he does have to worry about is protecting his wife and kids, not to mention his father (Christopher Lloyd) – a retired FBI agent who now spends his days watching TV in a care home.
Anyone who’s familiar with Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul in particular already knows just what an incredible actor Bob Odenkirk is. But seeing him switch from family man to unstoppable assassin so effortlessly is just a real joy to watch. There are some dark laughs to be had in its short but sweet 92-minute runtime, some painful to watch violence and plenty of great fight scenes that don’t just happen in a blur and are easy to follow. I also cannot believe that I witnessed Doc Brown and Saul Goodman do Home Alone, with violent boobytraps and guns galore. And it was absolutely glorious too.
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