You may think you’re a dedicated member of your band, but are you “POV parkour music video” dedicated? Russian musician, Ilya Naishuller, certainly is as he was not only the frontman for the rock band Biting Elbows, but he also directed and did the stunt work for his viral music videos of “The Stampede” and “Bad Motherf*****.” Both of which would become the blueprints for Naishuller’s film debut with 2016’s Hardcore Henry. Seems like a good enough choice to pair up with the creator of the John Wick franchise to create the brand new action movie Nobody. Does the movie bring a creative flair to a long-running genre?
Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk), is an underestimated and overlooked dad and husband, taking life’s indignities on the chin and never pushing back. A nobody. When two thieves break into his home one night, Hutch declines to defend his family, disappointing his son (Gage Munroe) and his wife, Becca (Connie Nielsen). The aftermath of the incident strikes a match to Hutch’s long-simmering rage and triggering dormant instincts. Once he and his family get the attention of Russian kingpin, Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksey Serebryakov), Hutch goes on a brutal path that will surface dark secrets and lethal skills.
The biggest reason to see Nobody is, well, the titular nobody. Fans of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul would know how talented of a comedic and dramatic actor Bob Odenkirk is, but he brings it to a completely new level as he becomes a mild-mannered family man turned Rambo-style action hero. Since Odenkirk performed a vast majority of his own stunts, his physical performance as Hutch creates a believable presence as he uses his particular set of skills against Russian gangsters. Director Naishuller brought some of his kinetic action from his previous efforts -minus the POV- creating some creative sequences with regular appliances. Christopher Llyod also makes an awesome appearance in the movie.
However, the premise and the characters feel very familiar or very generic. An action man who left it all behind for a family who is brought back into the trenches has been played out by Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, and a more comparative example with Keanu Reeves. The world-building of Nobody feels has a similar structure to the John Wick franchise, almost giving the feeling that writer Derek Kolstad and producer David Leitch wanted to create secret spin-offs. Or they hit copy and paste. But the same-old feeling shouldn’t take away the genuinely fun time that Odenkirk brings to the table.
Overall, Nobody has a story that isn’t particularly original, especially since the creative team has already used it in a different franchise, but the premise creates a vehicle for Odenkirk and the creative action, bringing a very fun spark. If you’re a fan of Saul Goodman or love a bloody action movie, nobody should be disappointed.
Nobody hits cinemas on April 1st.