Nobody movie review: Bob Odenkirk-starrer is a solid action thriller, but no game changer-Entertainment News , Firstpost

As the final moment of the film seems like a wink at the audience about a possible sequel, one might ask themselves a question: Is this something I would want to see again?

I’m assuming a large part of the success of a film like Ilya Naishuller’s Nobody can be measured by how credible its ‘gimmick’ seems about half an hour into the film. Especially one that could be dismissed as ‘John Wick, starring Bob Odenkirk’. Written by Derek Kolstad, the man behind the John Wick universe, the conceit for Nobody is a thin one: Odenkirk playing a ‘badass’. The Indian equivalent to Odenkirk might be Pankaj Tripathi, taking part in bone-crushing action, wielding a knife like a sadistic surgeon, and firing guns with the elan of someone really, really disturbed. Also, imagine him staring down a bunch of men with bulging biceps in the confined interiors of a bus, saying something to the effect of “I will fuck you up.” How does that sound? Does it work for you? There’s a good chance you’ll feel the same even at the end of the film.

Stunt coordinators turning directors in such seemingly ‘light-on-plot’ action movies, where the emphasis is on elaborately choreographed action set-pieces, is fairly recent. Chad Stahelski came to the fore with the John Wick franchise, David Leitch directed Atomic Blonde (starring Charlize Theron), and more recently Sam Hargrave taking the reins for Netflix’s Extraction. Similarly, Naishuller is an interesting choice for a director, especially if one has seen the music video ‘Bad Motherfucker’, which he directed for his band Biting Elbows. The video is about a seemingly capable hitman, breaking out of captivity, and it entirely plays in a first-person POV. It’s not a completely new idea, but the execution is impressive. Something similar could be said for Naishuller’s directorial debut. 

Bob Odenkirk in Nobody. Universal Pictures

Bob Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, a middle-aged guy living the dull suburban life. His routine is established through a nicely cut montage, where Hutch goes about the beats of his day with a familiar fatigue. As most people will have seen the trailer before watching the film, many already know that there’s a ‘transformation’ around the corner. However, let’s dwell on this montage of Hutch’s daily chores. The morning exercise, missing the garbage truck by seconds, his wife, Rebecca’s (Connie Nielsen) disappointed tone while saying “you missed the garbage”, him pouring coffee for himself, taking the bus to work, checking in, checking out, getting home to a family that barely acknowledges his presence: just another day in a boring ‘normal’ person’s life.

But Hutch isn’t ‘normal’. He might seem like he’s going through a bit of a mid-life crisis, but as we soon discover that he’s inflicted this mid-life crisis on himself, and is relishing every bit of his daily drudgery. As it happens with any explosive shown on screen, we all know it’s going to explode at some point. So does Hutch. When a couple of intruders try to steal money from him, and hurt his son, one can see the effort needed for him to remain calm. Even though that first trigger is resolved relatively quickly and painlessly, the *actual* conflict of the film is triggered only a few minutes later. Hutch bashes up a bunch of drunk men on a bus, one of them happens to be the brother of a feared man in the Russian mob, Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksey Serebryakov).

Nobody movie review Bob Odenkirkstarrer is a solid action thriller but no game changer

A still from Nobody. YouTube

Yulian gets a memorable introduction scene, where he nonchalantly jaywalks into a club wearing shiny shoes, and gets up on stage and belts out a karaoke hit. When a member of the mob tells him that this singing and dancing compromises his fearsome reputation, he breaks his cocktail glass and carves the face and the neck of someone who had only moments ago disrespected him. “Feel confident now?”, he asks the man who had earlier expressed doubts.

Like any good action film, even Nobody has a couple of scenes that look ‘real’. In one scene, Yulian picks up a chair and throws it at one of his henchmen. It happens in one continuous take, not looking ‘managed’ with trick editing. It might not be a cool slo-mo scene like Neo dodging bullets by bending backwards, but it’s a scene that definitely elicits a ‘Wow! That must’ve hurt.’ That’s probably a good way to test the effectiveness of an action scene. Another test that Nobody aces, is that by the end of the first hour it convinced me that Bob Odenkirk is an action hero, and that he is… ‘badass’.

However, it also must be noted that there are very few genuinely surprising moments in the film. We’re all accustomed to the ‘hero’ nursing issues of repressed rage from a former life, crossing a similarly volatile man (seemingly untouchable), and the monumental clash ensuing. Even an apparent ‘surprise’ in the film’s climax, doesn’t feel rightfully earned. There are quirks like a ‘Black Russian’ character, a B-movie exchange taking place in the climax, where someone says “you brought a lot of guns” and the response is “you brought a lot of Russians.”

It’s all there, but none of it is provocative like, say, the first Deadpool movie. As the final moment of the film seems like a wink at the audience about a possible sequel, one might ask themselves a question: is this something I would want to see again? With minor variations here and there? This is also a test of a memorable film, something Nobody might not necessarily be.

Rating: 3

Nobody is now in theatres.

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