Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) lives a quiet life with his family. He is a bit of a pushover, but seems to have come to accept his day-to-day routines. That is until a botched home invasion leads Hutch and his bottled-up rage to explode on a bunch of drunk chauvinist jerks riding on a city bus. Unbeknownst to him, one of those jerks happens to have connections to the Russian mob, and they are none too happy with the pain Hutch unleashed.
There is not much to NOBODY and it is hard to deny how light it is on story. The plot is covered in large bullet-sized holes, some character motivations and backstories (primarily Hutch’s) are not explained nearly as well as they should be, and there are a few scenes that have clearly been chopped-down a bit too far. In other words, it is a bit messy around the edges.
I would be lying though if I said I did not spend the entirety of NOBODY’s 91-minute running time grinning ear to ear with excitement and unabashed joy. The Film is just so much fun to watch unfold that you easily ignore the story issues and the toxic White Male Rage that permeates through many scenes. Director Ilya Naishuller brings the same reckless energy and unreal camera work here that he brought to his bonkers first-person Action-Thriller Hardcore Henry. Once the chaos starts, it rarely slows-down to stop and take a breath. Instead, it moves from one frenzied set piece to the next, gradually upping the ante along the way. The structure reminded me a whole lot of John Wick (likely no accident given the involvement of Wick Screenwriter Derek Kolstad and Producer David Leitch), so that should give you just a hint of how wild a picture NOBODY becomes. If you love action as much as I do, you are in for a treat.
Supporting turns from RZA, Connie Nielsen, Aleksey Serebryakov and especially Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd – who has not given a performance this lively in decades – are well done for the most part. None of them can keep up with Odenkirk however. He is on a whole other level away from everyone, kicking ass and taking names in ways you would never expect from the dude who plays Saul Goodman. The ferocious energy he breathes into Hutch is positively infectious, and his commitment to the stunt work is unreal. He is still just as much of a wise-cracking asshole as he always is, but he adds an edge to every moment that really takes this character over the top. Odenkirk is clearly having a blast playing Hutch and does an incredible job not taking any of it seriously. I would absolutely adore getting to see him flesh him out even further in future films.
If you are craving balls-to-the-wall action, then look no further: NOBODY is the absurd Action-Thriller you have been waiting for. The storyline is less than stellar, but the fight scenes and the shootouts are amazingly well-done. I want more from this character, this world and more of this ferocity out of Odenkirk. The trailer promised an absurdly great time, and the Film more than delivers on that promise. It is an absolute must-see and I cannot wait to see it again.
Universal Pictures Canada unleash NOBODY in theatres Friday, March 26, 2021.
*Please ensure you exercise caution in observing COVID-19 protocols if seeing this in-theatre.*