There are all kinds of action heroes, yet what we will see in today’s movie, Nobody, is certainly one of the most peculiar ones that arrived in theaters in 2021.
Indeed, the story revolves around Hutch Mansell, a seemingly quiet and harmless fellow who works as a humble bookkeeper in his father-in-law’s business.
Every day is a monotonous repetition of boredom and indifference with his children and wife, Becca, until one night, two petty thieves invade his home, hoping to steal what they can.
Although he could defend himself, the man does not react to the attack when he surprises them, infuriating his son who sees him even more as a weak, insignificant person unable to protect his own family.
However, when Hutch discovers the thieves have also stolen a bracelet his daughter was very fond of, something old and buried snaps in him, and so he sets out for the city aiming to retrieve it.
The search for the bracelet, unfortunately, soon becomes something else because, during a foolish quarrel on a bus, he severely injures a gang of thugs.
Among them is the brother of Yulian Kuznetsov, a psychotic Russian mob leader with delirium of omnipotence, who will immediately put every one of his men on his trail for revenge.
From then on, the gradual decline into madness and unbridled brutality will bring back memories of Hutch’s former life, who was actually once a hitman/liquidator for the government.
At that point, his residence and workplace turn into a battlefield, forcing him to engage in no-holds-barred combat where he must kill every last one of his enemies to secure his family for good.
The old killer has gray fur but still beats hard
Ilya Naishuller returns to theaters after an entertaining debut with Hardcore Henry in 2015, an exaggerated sci-fi action entirely shot in subjective as a video game.
A style that intermittently worked, so the director changes by returning to the more classic genre that allows him more freedom to exhibit his skill behind the camera in handling the choreographies of fights and shootings.
The gimmick of placing Mr. Nobody as the protagonist is excellent, laying the groundwork for mindless entertainment among the best movies of 2021.
It’s a recipe, fortunately, spiced with plenty of humor and amusement from our leathery protagonist, Bob Odenkirk, who starts out looking old and nostalgic and resigned to the chronic unhappiness of his family and professional life.
However, once he kicks into gear, almost as if he were an old custom-built car that hasn’t been back on the race track in a long time, it doesn’t take long for him to become again the unstoppable hitman he once was.
It is beautiful to witness the many action scenes where Odenkirk routs every foe with a smile on his face, without spoiling the immersion with the story, but rather with this constant teasing helps to believe in an otherwise far-fetched plot.
The best part of the film, besides Naishuller’s solid direction and the tremendous skill of the stunt performers, is precisely this character who apparently acts as cold and aloof as he is fast, deadly, and confident.
I’m not saying the supporting cast isn’t well characterized, quite the opposite, but he rules every scene as an unstoppable presence that easily overshadows everyone else.
Besides having choreographed action scenes like John Wick (since it shares the same screenwriter, Derek Kolstad), finally, the end cleverly closes with the possibility of a future sequel, which I strongly hope.
Nobody expected a movie like Nobody
Far from the lawyer’s shoes of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk plays with appropriate conviction this strange, all-hands-on-deck man who may well be a distant relative of Rambo.
In short, an action hero who succeeds in being unique and original, although precisely tracing all the clichés demanded by the genre, smashing one after another into waves of enemies like a crazy video game.
Unfortunately, one of the poorly explored aspects is the fascinating bond with his wife, the gorgeous Connie Nielsen, with whom the relationship aged into near indifference, and the passion is rekindled right in the line of fire when danger threatens their home.
Indeed, despite the danger her family is in, she seems almost pleased with this change, but her character, especially in the second half of the movie, stays relegated to minority scenes.
Equally exhilarating and adequate to the out-of-control villain is Aleksej Serebrjakov, a very talented actor for whom I hope sooner or later, the limelight of international cinema will also come beyond the Russian productions in which he is always a protagonist.
Finally, let us not fail to mention such a veteran as Christopher Lloyd, famous for his portrayal of the elderly scientist in Back to the Future, here taking the role of the protagonist’s father.
A father who is just as ironic and deadly as his son, though he lives quietly in an opulent nursing home, yet when it comes to action time, he gladly takes up a sawed-off shotgun again to rip enemies to shreds in the grand finale.
As mentioned, this may be the starting point of an extraordinary new saga of which we shall see if a continuation ever comes, since it is over-the-top action fun, the possibilities are endless.