Nobody may come across as a copy and paste of other titles, but it still delivers a thrilling tale from start to finish. The John Wick similarities are in your face, and given the film is written by the same person it’s hard to not make comparisons. Nobody doesn’t overstay its welcome, wastes little time, and features some terrific action sequences throughout. This unoriginal film won’t break new ground, but it still delivers an effective action film.
Fans of John Wick will spot the similarities shown throughout the film, and yet Nobody still doesn’t come across as a shameful recreation. A middle-aged man, who appears to be living the typical life has a past that he has been trying to let go of until it is needed to protect himself and his family. Directed by Ilya Naishuller and written by Derek Kolstad, Nobody stars Connie Nielsen, Aleksey Serebryakov, Christopher Lloyd, Gage Munrow, Paisley Cadorath, and Bob Odenkirk. The film follows Hutch Mansell (Odenkirk), a reserved individual who lets his family down one night during a break-in. This sparks division in the household, but during a bus altercation, Hutch’s hidden abilities are brought to the surface and his entire family is placed in danger as a result.
Kolstad’s screenplay provides everything you’d want from an R-rated action film. Blood-soaked violence, high stakes drama, and a lead character who surprises you as the film progresses. While Nobody wastes little time getting to the action, it still spends enough time developing its titular character for viewers to relate to him. Mansell is a family man trapped in his day-to-day activities. An aspect that makes him easy to relate to, as plenty of people go through this every day. He isn’t particularly happy with his life, and to make matters worse a couple of burglars drive a wedge between himself and his family. Kolstad implements moments of comedy that assist with providing a lighthearted vibe to this insanely fun film. As mentioned above, there isn’t much originality to be found here with this script, but it’s executed effectively.
Odenkirk impresses as Mansell, a rather surprising casting choice for this type of film. He portrays this role with ease, and the performance gets increasingly better with each obstacle thrown in Mansell’s direction. His rival in the film, Yulian Kuznetsov (Serebryakov) wants Mansell dead after he learns of his recent behaviors. Again, just like many other films before it where a character’s actions spark attention from a group of individuals they must take out. Kuznetsov is believable as this drug lord who will not rest until he takes out Mansell and his entire family. All the performances are solid, but Odenkirk steals the show here with his switches between fight or flight. Nobody is probably a one-time outing, but there is room for more, and Odenkirk thrives in this environment.
Naishuller’s direction makes this an edge-of-your-seat treat, and there is very little downtime in between the bloodshed. Despite its quick pacing, Nobody never feels rushed, or messy at any point. Naishuller keeps viewers engaged with moments of tension, suspense, and well-shot action sequences galore. The music by David Buckley is a great addition to the film and makes the more comedic moments that much better. Naishuller captures the choreographed action in the best way possible, it’s truly a visual treat to watch at times. The tension is never absent once it’s introduced, so the director knew how to keep this film consistently thrilling once the burglars came into play.
This unoriginal, formulaic film impresses in more ways than one from start to finish. Nobody isn’t a complete retread of John Wick, it carves its path for sure. It delivers the action with high risks involved, a relatable lead character that is brought to life wonderfully by Odenkirk, who is very believable in this type of role. A series of Nobody films doesn’t sound likely right now, but they’d be fun if they are anything like this initial outing.