Updated: Sep 21, 2021
When thinking of action heroes, the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger always come to mind. A name that does not strike this moniker is actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk. Among his versatile resume, Odenkirk’s most notable role is on the hit television series Breaking Bad as well as its the series spin-off Better Call Saul-where he plays the title character. Needless to say, Odenkirk’s demeanor is not something you would expect for an action star, but that is precisely the point in the new movie: Nobody. Directed by Ilya Naishuller, Nobody takes the concept of an average guy turning out to be a skilled killer. Truth be told, this was not a movie I was anticipating-in fact I hardly knew anything about it even when I headed to the theater. Regardless I decided to see the movie and much to my surprise Nobody had much to say as an action movie.
Bob Odenkirk plays Hutch-a family man who lives a normal life. However, after criminals break into his home, Hutch’s past resurfaces and his actions lead him into a conflict with the drug dealer Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebyrakov). The story of Nobody was an exciting spin on action packed tales. In this blend between True Lies and John Wick, the story takes an intense scenario and executes it in a semi-comedic manner. Along with this direction was seeing Hutch’s real nature unfold and how it gave the plot an intriguing aspect that I was eager to see play out. However, despite this, I cannot help but feel that the plot did not go far enough with some of its concepts. The mystery surrounding Hutch was good but it felt like there was more to the world surrounding the story, and the eccentric narrative prevented it from exploring this element. Furthermore, the plot uses several elements seen in previous action films-though the way it handles these factors was a bit refreshing. Needless to say, the plot was unconventional and by no means groundbreaking storytelling, but it got the job done thanks to its clever delivery and keen direction.
Much like the story, Nobody’s cast was full of surprises. As previously stated, Bob Odenkirk is not your typical action hero (and again that was the point) but he certainly made for an impressive one nonetheless. Mitch’s demeanor was executed well to give him the right mystique while the performance from Odenkirk provided a wonderful sense of charisma to this introverted hero. Along with a stellar lead was an impressive array of supporting characters. Some characters were stronger than others but the cast had their moments to shine and featured enjoyable roles from the likes of Connie Neilson, Rza and Christopher Llyod. In the case of the villain, Yulian had more character to him than I expected; though his role in the story was a bit minimal. While this cast reveled in simplicity, its sense of character and fun performances made this group an entertaining one worthy of any action movie.
The action was as delightful as it was brutal. Each sequence provided a sense of creativity along with a practical execution. This was noticeable in the movie’s first action scene which was thrilling and helped to define this element for the rest of the movie. Along with the eccentric violence was the movie’s twisted sense of humor. The comedy had a good sense of timing and did not detract from the film’s gritty tone. In the case of music, the score by David Buckley was good but it had a minimal presence in the overall film. However, the soundtrack itself was a nice as its use of songs was dynamic in its variety and was a bit creative in its delivery.
The action genre has had no shortage of impressive entries in recent years, and Nobody can consider itself among these greats. While some aspects could have been stronger in execution, it did not take away from the movie’s presentation; which was graced with a thrilling story, great characters and stellar sense of action. I may not have expected much from this film, but Nobody certainly made a statement by being a one-of-a-kind action film and a stellar movie for the year.