nobody movie_Bob Odenkirk blows his stack and cover in Delirious Shoot ‘Em Up

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If you can give yourself the gift of watching Nobody without seeing the trailer or reading reviews, you should. Seriously, stop reading right now, watch the movie and then come back.

OK, here’s the deal: this comedic-over-the-top action film starts off as a sort of manhood crisis flick (Nebbish fails to adequately defend hearth and home) and grows into a far more entertaining, superbly cartoonish revenge saga that simultaneously satirizes and milks tropes that Russian gangsters , suburban boredom, men with mysterious pasts and guns, guns and more guns are involved as a solution to male anxiety.

“Nobody” is more violent banter than exploratory satire, but between Bob Odenkirk’s cleverly understated performance, the surprises in the script by Derek Kolstad (of the “John Wick” series) and the mischievously brutal direction of Ilya Naishuller (“Hardcore Henry”), It’s a wonderfully fast paced and consistently clever action film that ups the ante of a genre that has been dominated by Liam Neeson clones.

Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, whose boomingly repetitive routine (brilliantly captured by editors Evan Schiff and William Yeh) consists of making morning coffee, rolling the trash can to the curb just late enough to miss the pickup, and boarding the bus to work as an accountant at a metal factory owned by his father-in-law (Michael Ironside), comes home and sleeps with a wall of pillows separating him and his wife, Becca (Connie Nielsen).

So far so boring. One night, two burglars break into his house. Hutch’s son Blake (Gage Munroe) catches one of them, and while Hutch could take out the other armed burglar with a swing of his golf club, he chooses to let them go instead. The investigating police officer and Hutch’s neighbor and various associates, implicitly or explicitly, let Hutch know that they were not afraid in the clutch. But just when you think that “nobody” becomes “straw dogs” or “force majeure”, it goes its own way.

This path involves Hutch’s secret past as an exceptionally skilled fighter and killer who turned off that part of himself to anonymously raise a family. However, that sleeping side wants to be reawakened when a fight on a bus with some drunk thugs results in the death of one of them. The emissary happens to be the brother of mafia boss Yulian (Alexey Serebryakov, “Leviathan”), who seeks revenge and will eventually regret underestimating Hutch and his special abilities. (One of the best-performing parts of the script is that the audience is told very little about Hutch’s past; instead, we see characters in the film learn the details and become immediately alarmed and frightened.)

This is the kind of violent film that inevitably gets labeled “malicious.” Naishuller crafts set piece after set piece, allowing Hutch to showcase his various skills – hand-to-hand combat, guns, bombs, the labors – and Odenkirk plays the fake father and super assassin in equal measure believably to his credit. The development of the actor of “Mr. Show’ to ‘Breaking Bad’ to ‘Better Call Saul’ has been a fascinating journey and to see him laying the groundwork for a possible new chapter as an action star feels really exciting.

When Hutch and his allies – RZA as his equally capable brother, Christopher Lloyd as their FBI retiree father – take on an army of gangsters in a booby-trapped machine shop, “Nobody” has long since given up any pretense of realism or logic, but it maintains its breakneck pace and extravagant carnage in a way that other wannabe bang-bang-boom epics can’t match. Over-the-top gunfights require a steady hand at the controls, and Naishuller always makes sure viewers know where everyone is and how much ammo they have left.

The idea of ​​an itchy trigger finger as a solution to midlife malaise is ridiculous, and “nobody” knows it. There’s an obvious degree of wish-fulfillment at work here – the underrated average guy might be a stealthy killing machine, and woe to the villain who stands in his way – but that’s not unusual for the genre. What makes this film so brilliant is taking the plot to comical extremes without destroying its narrative structure. It gives the audience what they want, and does so over the top that it forces at least part of the audience to question why they want it and whether they should. Whichever camp they fall into, viewers are likely to be swept up in the tide of gunpowder and testosterone.

Nobody opens in US theaters on March 26th.

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