Nobody is a bone-crunching, knuckle-busting, lip-splitting action film that has every intention of dragging you across concrete with the taste of asphalt in your mouth and bits of glass in your forehead. Hutch is like the guy John Wick was probably really based on.
Let’s not mistake the penchant of Nobody for minimalist action entertainment for some cute little thriller. It is a bone-crunching, knuckle-busting, lip-splitting action film that has every intention of dragging you across concrete with the taste of asphalt in your mouth and bits of glass in your forehead. The main character, Hutch, is like the guy John Wick was probably really based on. This film isn’t just bruising entertainment, it hands out a serious case of hematoma.
Hutch is played by Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul). His son (played by Gage Monroe) doesn’t look up to him after failing to protect their family after a burglary attempt. Becca (Connie Nielson), Hutch’s wife, pities him. His father-in-law (Michael Ironside) looks at him like he’s a burden, all while his brother-in-law (Billy MaCallen) is the perfect candidate as the next head of some wannabe MAGA militia member.
So, he pulls a William “D-Fens” Foster and takes out his pent-up aggression on a bus full of gen-z tough guys who are harrassing a young coed. Unfortunately, one is the brother of a Russian drug lord (The Coldest Game’s Aleksei Serebryakov) named Yuilan. He has now taken a keen interest in Hutch’s life. Well, he will make time between snorting a handful of fine grade Columbian cocaine, the most expensive imported Vodka Russia has to offer, and perform a couple of stylish Karaoke sets.
Director Ilya Viktorovich (Hardcore Henry) and writer Derek Kolstad (The John Wick trilogy) have teamed up to make a minimalist action film. The kind of movie that has just the right amount of thrills, dark comedy, and solid storytelling. It answers the call for the kind of grounded, yet no less impactful thrills many want more of. The kind of bruising set pieces and fights that are not drowning in green screen and digital special effects.
Odenkirk is really perfect here. Yes, it’s not a role that is the most demanding. But he has enough everyman qualities and an unusual amount of bravado that translates on screen. The former Late Night with Conan O’Brien writer and star of the cult classic Mr. Show had a wide array of sitcom guest spots before hitting it big as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad. He doesn’t exactly scream action hero. His small build, wispy hair, crow’s feet like raptor claws, and a pair of old, new balance sneakers make you think are the that relative you tolerate on holidays or that overly eager neighbor. But that’s half the fun, watching the everyman/dad-type leaving a trail of destruction everywhere he goes.
Some may argue Nobody borrows too much from Kolstad’s John Wick and, to a certain extent, Joel Schumacher’s Falling Down. That’s a reasonable point, but I just don’t care. Similar movies are fine as long as they are done well. This is entertainment, from the same style of Kolstad’s that gave Keanu Reeves a third comeback. Let Viktorovich’s film punch you in the mouth and then apologize for letting your chin get in the way.