“Nobody” is a true sister film to the “John Wick” series, even being written by Derek Kolstad, writer of the first three of the Wick films. The similarities between the two sagas are glaring: a secret past life as an assassin and being called out of retirement for revenge; gold bars buried in the basement; burning a Russian safe house full of cash to piss off a Russian mob boss; and of course the mythological reverence for our mysterious protagonist.
The big difference between the two series is that Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) hungers for his old lifestyle and begs the villains to keep pushing him, whereas John Wick is reluctantly pulled into the spiral without a chance to stop. This difference provides a satisfying narrative difference, albeit a morally ambiguous one.
“Nobody” is brutal with a realist gravity to its action, particularly in the film’s early brawls. These only escalate into more impressive action sequences until its a near free for all including the help of Wu Tang Clan’s RZA playing Hutch’s brother Harry Mansel, and Christopher Lloyd playing Hutch’s father. It is undeniably awesome watching these two figures draw guns on a bunch of bad guys, even if the sequence is relentless nonsense.
Odenkirk, drawing on a relief life brush with break ins at home, states the film felt like a bit of a release for him. And the movie feels a bit like a revenge fantasy of a suburban dad escalating from a traumatic experience. Even the big tag line of “I’m nobody” screams like the thoughts of a middle aged man playing out revenge in his head.
“Nobody” is a delightful action film. While it isn’t a terribly original story or concept, its a raucous good time that showcases Bob Odenkirk’s great foray into the genre.
8.5/10 (85%) B