Hollywood has a new action king, and drumroll please, it’s Bob Odenkirk. Nobody puts the venerated comedian, writer, and award-winning actor in pure ass-kicking mode. Russian director Ilya Naishuller unleashes a taut, darkly humorous, and bone-crushing spectacle of violence. A seemingly innocuous and mild-mannered patsy turns out to be the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing. Odenkirk’s casting was a truly inspired choice. Nobody is an action bonanza that will delight audiences.
Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) is the definition of a boring family man. He’s the guy that’s always overlooked and disrespected. His daily routine is a snooze festival of banality. Hutch makes breakfast for his kids, gets berated by his wife’s (Connie Nielsen) father (Michael Ironside) and brother (Billy MacLellan) at work, and then comes home to a sexless marriage. Vanilla pudding has more going on in life.
Everything changes after a terrifying incident at the family home. Hutch’s teenage son (Gage Munroe) loses all respect for his father. Hutch needs to blow off a little steam. A bus ride takes a wild turn when a bunch of drunken Russian gangsters get on board. They caught Hutch Mansell on a bad day. When vicious crime lord Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebryakov) sees the broken shell that used to be his brother, he wants bloody vengeance. Unfortunately for him and his legion of men, they vastly underestimate their quarry. Hutch Mansell is not who he appears to be.
Nobody dives into the plot headfirst. Ilya Naishuller (Hardcore Henry) employs a slick use of montages to unload exposition quickly. We get to know Hutch, his family, and tedious job within minutes of the first act. Creative editing and a great performance from Bob Odenkirk really sells Hutch’s doormat existence. The switch then flips to reveal the true nature of the character. Hutch’s lethal transformation is hypnotic to see. He channels years of pent up rage and aggression into stunned baddies, while dropping hilarious hints about his past. Bob Odenkirk goes from dull to deadly with brilliant precision.
Nobody will have you wincing from the savage beatdowns. This is not a martial arts focused, ultra-stylized shooting film. The violence is personal, up close and brutal. Hutch delivers punishment by a plethora of means. His knife skills would make a sushi chef jealous. That said, Ilya Naishuller doesn’t make Hutch invincible. He gets pummelled, but dishes out far more than he receives. The fight on the bus opens the floodgates to varied, well-executed, and coordinated action scenes. Ilya Naishuller makes a strong statement about his skill as a director and action choreographer.
RZA and legendary character actor Christopher Lloyd add pitch perfect entertainment value in supporting roles. They don’t have a lot of screen time, but make their presence felt. Nobody wisely keeps Bob Odenkirk front and center. He’s had significant range his entire career, but steps into a different category as a bonafide action star. Odenkirk is fantastic here. Raise your expectations for this film. Nobody is a production of 87North, Eighty Two Films, and Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment. It will be released theatrically by Universal Pictures on March 26th.
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