Bob Odenkirk is an unstoppable force in Ilya Naishuller’s (Hardcore Henry) Nobody. The film opens with a battered and bloodied man (Odenkirk) sitting in a police interrogation. He lights a cigarette and feeds a small cat concealed in his coat. This is Hutch Mansell, an unassuming family man stuck in a suburban rut who’s daily highlights consist of his morning coffee and commuting to his thankless job. He’s a nobody.
One night, however, his mundane routine is broken when burglars break into his home, which awakens a violent part of the past he’s suppressed for years. But his rage-fuelled quest for payback puts him in the direct path of a dangerous and deranged drug lord (Aleksey Serebryakov). Now Hutch must once again embrace the life he left behind to protect his family.
With a screenplay penned by John Wick’s Derek Kolstad, there are inevitably many similarities between this flick and the Keanu Reeves-fronted franchise. Notably, both are ultra-stylish action outings that centre around an older protagonist forced back into violent quests. A major distinction between Wick and Mansell is that the latter relishes the violence as if it were a guilty pleasure they can’t shake (“please open that door” he prays internally in one scene as he itches for a fight). This characteristic marks Mansell as a more intriguing protagonist than his predecessor. Though he may be the “good” guy in this situation, the enjoyment he takes in brutalising those who stand against him challenges his morality and just how respectable he is.
When it comes to the action, Nobody offers some of the crunchiest and most polished sequences in the genre to date. Naishuller further refines his craft to deliver tightly choreographed and punchy set pieces, in which viewers feel every blow. But Mansell isn’t indestructible; he’s clumsy and takes as much of a beating as he gives. With every bloody struggle, the filmmakers remind viewers that he’s just one man doing everything in his power to keep the ones he loves safe.
The fun is only somewhat diminished by a muddled commentary on toxic masculinity. Nonetheless, Odenkirk’s ferocious performance quickly pulls viewers back into the action for an experience audiences won’t soon forget.
Nobody is released in select cinemas on 9th June 2021.
Watch the trailer for Nobody here: