Bob Odenkirk is one of the last guys you’d think of when you hear the term action hero. That’s what makes Nobody such a delightfully violent romp. Odenkirk got his start as a comedy writer for Saturday Night Live and other sketch shows like The Ben Stiller Show and The Dana Carvey Show, both of which were criminally short-lived. He gained a cult following with HBO’s Mr. Show, which was co-created with David Cross. However, Odenkirk truly rose to prominence as the sleazy criminal defense attorney Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad. Since then, he’s been nominated on several occasions at the Golden Globes and Emmys for his performance on the spinoff Better Call Saul.
Nobody has John Wick’s fingerprints all over it. Derek Kolstad, who also wrote the John Wick films, penned the screenplay while David Leitch, co-director of the first John Wick, serves as a producer. The director is Ilya Naishuller whose feature debut was the frenetic Hardcore Henry, shot entirely from a first person perspective.
Odenkirk is Hutch Mansell, a nondescript family man living in the suburbs with his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen), teenage son Blake (Gage Munroe), and young daughter Abby (Paisley Cadorath). Hutch works as an accountant for his father-in-law’s metal manufacturing plant, a job that is just mundane as his home life. One night, burglars break into the Mansell house. Hutch almost gets the drop on one of them with a golf club, but fails to take action. Afterwards, Blake, who got punched in the face by the other thief, doesn’t look at his father the same way. Hutch’s in-laws and even a responding officer look at the man as if he were a total schmuck.
When Hutch discovers Abby’s kitty cat bracelet is missing, he tracks down the two thieves, but the confrontation doesn’t go as expected. A despondent Hutch catches the bus home only to brawl with a gang of drunks attempting to harass a female passenger. Unfortunately, Hutch puts one of them into a coma. Even more unfortunate, said drunk is the younger brother of Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebryakov), a Russian mobster who enjoys singing at his nightclub almost as much as doling out violent retribution. As it turns out, Hutch used to do wetwork for the government, the kind of dirty deeds that send people literally running from the room when they read his top secret personnel file.
Nobody isn’t interested in a deeper, nuanced understanding of masculinity and violence ala Death Wish or Straw Dogs. The film descends into Looney Tunes-style escapades with octogenarian Christopher Lloyd brandishing a shotgun. Yes, the former Doc Brown pops in as Hutch’s equally capable father, along with RZA as a half-brother. During the climax, the protagonists rig Hutch’s workplace with death traps like it’s an R-rated Home Alone. Unlike many of his renowned counterparts, Odenkirk takes a beating from his adversaries though he definitely survives car crashes and explosions no normal man could.
The video is presented in 1080p with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. While Nobody was shot digitally, filmmakers added a graininess and muted color palette for a gritty atmosphere. The picture quality is exceptional and well detailed.
The audio is presented in Dolby Atmos, which highlights every gunshot and bone breaking body blow. The Atmos mix also does a terrific job with sweetening the soundtrack that’s riddled with pop standards by Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong and crooner Andy Williams.
Hutch Hits Hard (3:52) is a painfully short featurette that looks at Odenkirk’s training regiment. He certainly put in the work and they could have shown a lot more.
Breaking Down the Action takes a closer look at four different action sequences. Those included are Bus Fight (5:31), Home Invasion (4:19), Car Chase (3:13), and Tool and Die (6:02).
Just a Nobody (12:53) is the typical behind-the-scenes featurette that runs down various aspects of the production from the cast to the director and story.
Rounding out the bonus material are a collection of deleted scenes, an audio commentary with Bob Odenkirk and director Ilya Naishuller and a solo commentary track with Naishuller where the director gets more technical.
Film Value: 7
Not counting the end credits, Nobody clocks in at just under an hour and a half. It’s a fun, fast paced flick that knows when to get in and get out. Despite feeling like John Wick Lite, Nobody has a personality of its own thanks to Bob Odenkirk’s everyman performance and some cool action scenes with the most memorable being the chaotic bus fight.