In the words of Samuel L Jackson in ‘Jackie Brown’ when talking about the weaponry he sells, ‘When you absolutely, positively have to kill every mother****r in the room, accept no substitute’. It’s a phrase that applies equally to the scripts of screenwriter Derek Kolstad which include the John Wick franchise where Keanu Reeves character lays waster to an army of hitmen and Kolstad’s script for Nobody is no different in that respect. But whereas Keanu’s killing credentials are well documented in those films and others Bob Odenkirk’s, as an ex government employee with equally lethal skills are quite unexpected.
Here he plays Hutch, a married man with two children living in surburbia and slave to the mundane repetition of middle aged life ……and it’s killing his marriage. Having escaped his past for a family life and anonymity, he is a Nobody. It’s only when his home is burgled by a couple of chancers that the old skills are momentarily reawakened yet when he gets a moment to mete out justice with a golf club he suppresses the urge much to the disgust of his teenage son. His testosterone fuelled neighbour is only to keen to tell Hitch how envious he was that they didn’t pick on his house so as to have had a go at the pair and his macho moron brother in law who he works with warns him to look after his sister whilst giving him a gun. You know it will push him back to his old ways
And so it it does when, much like with John Wick’s dog he finds that his daughter’s Kitty Kat bracelet has been taken by the burglars and it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back as he finds them but his visit takes an unexpected turn. Its’ his journey home that puts fuel on the fire and rekindles his skills for kills. It’s a bravura set piece as he takes on five louts on a bus pestering a young woman and punch by punch he finds his fighting feet. However what he’s unaware of is that he’s just hospitalized a Russian mob bosses son and in retaliation sets all his men on getting this Nobody. Russian mob bosses are the new villain du jour for Hollywood these days as best seen in The Equalizer with its unnervingly psychotic bad guy but the here the Russian mafiso, Yulian, has a bizarre penchant for karaoke and killing and frankly horrible suits too and he’s there to get his comeuppance from Hutch.
There’s a relentless ferocity to the set pieces which are exhilarating in their orchestration and don’t disappoint and the arrival of RZA as an ex colleague and Christopher Lloyd as his retirement home set father take it up a notch in a brutal finale. Whilst it’s not a perfect film with back story exposition clumsily shoehorned into a few scenes it is undoubtedly Bob Odenkirk’s film, a great actor who gives his action man more depth than would be expected from the usual Hollywood stars who play these roles. It’s been a long time since we’ve got back to the big screen and since they’ve reopened we’ve had scares with A Quiet Place Part II and family friendly fodder with Peter Rabbit 2 and now it’s the turn of action fans and Nobody is a brilliant adrenaline rush of a film
Here’s the Nobody trailer……