In the past decade or so, action films like the Taken franchise, “John Wick” and “The Expendables” have skyrocketed in success and popularity.
These films feature older men who have moved on and are forced out of their retirement to fight for their family or to complete one last mission. The new film “Nobody” from Universal Studios tries to avoid the tropes of the genre by delivering a fresh, new take.
Bob Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, a seemingly ordinary man who, after a couple breaks into his home, snaps and reverts to his old, violent ways. Instead of being forced into the situation, however, Mansell returns to the fight out of a need for violence, and a release after his ordinary, family life finally brings him to a breaking point.
Though primarily an action film, “Nobody” features a perfect mix of lighter, dark comedic moments to avoid becoming a paint-by-numbers action movie. The fight scenes are expertly choreographed and of the same quality as the likes of “John Wick” or the South Korean action film “Oldboy,” which was an inspiration for Odenkirk’s interpretation of Hutch.
Odenkirk’s involvement in the movie was intriguing when first announced, and though he has little experience with action, he plays Hutch well, conveying the pain and rage boiling under the surface of the character’s family-man façade. Despite his lack of experience, Odenkirk sells each and every punch with the same intensity and realism as Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise or any number of seasoned action film stars.
In addition to Odenkirk, Nobody’s cast is rounded out by Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) as Hutch’s father and Connie Nielsen (“Soldier,” “Wonder Woman”) as his wife Becca. These two bring so much to the table, as does Aleksei Serebryakov, the main antagonist of the film, Yulian.
Yulian, though a rather two-dimensional villain, is well utilized in the film to serve Hutch’s devolution back to the man he had tried so hard to contain.
Whether you are a fan of action, violence or Bob Odenkirk, “Nobody” is definitely a fun watch that is more than worth the price of admission.
“Nobody” releases in theaters and on-demand on March 26th, 2021.