Ilya Naishuller’s latest release ‘Nobody’ grossed over $60 million at the box office after its release on June 9th (a lovely birthday treat for me), and it isn’t hard to see why. The action-thriller tackles the seemingly ordinary Hutch Mansell’s (Bob Odenkirk) struggle with emasculation, and shows the retaliation of that in a violent yet highly entertaining way. The fight scenes are visually sound and the brutality of them make you cringe in the best way possible. I feel like there’s a lack of proper violence in films nowadays, but ‘Nobody’ is not a film that shies away from it at all.
Bob Odenkirk’s character is very similar to John Wick (which isn’t surprising seeing as Derek Kolstad wrote both scripts) in more ways than just the fact they can both absolutely obliterate a room full of armed mercs. Hutch’s character, who, SPOILER WARNING, we come to learn, is not just an office worker with a very tedious life, but a retired assassin, or “auditor” as he is referred to in the film, falls back into what is clearly a natural state of violence for Hutch. The unravelling of his backstory is a pleasurable journey as we slowly start to realize that there is more to Hutch’s character than we first think. Naishuller’s inclusion of the repeated boring routine (essentially: wake up, make coffee, go to work, go to sleep) over and over again drives home just how dull Hutch’s life really is, so, when we are thrust into the sudden violence and drama of Hutch’s small…excursion…of his past, we, too, are excited for the action about to occur.
The cast are all brilliant in their respective roles. I especially enjoyed Christopher Lloyd’s performance as Hutch’s father and retired FBI agent, David Mansell. Like Hutch, David is not at all what we first think he is, and there are moments when the shift of character is both jarring yet highly entertaining.
SPOILER WARNING: The culmination of Lloyd, Odenkirk and RZA at the end of the film in a brutal, bloody and fantastic showdown with Kuznetsov’s men was the ultimate high to end the film on. The nonchalant nature of the three in the face of what other’s would call certain doom got a lot of laughs from my family and myself, and rightly so. Odenkirk especially acts with such finesse and nonchalance in the role of Hutch that you can’t not like the guy, and I found myself missing his character after the film finished. Oh, to have a retired assassin with a zest for death and violence and a dry sense of humour for a father…
I’m unsure as to where Naishuller could go with a sequel, but I have faith that if he were to make another, it would be just as good as the first. It would be nice to see RZA’s character, Harry Mansell, explored more as he was only in the film for the final showdown, and whilst the build-up to this moment was done well throughout the film, I still found myself wanting more of his character.
There’s rumours that ‘Nobody’ might be in the same universe as John Wick. I for one would love to see a team-up; John and Hutch do share some similarities, but it would be interesting to see the differences in their personalities manifest on the big screen. There’s no doubt in my mind that whatever Kolstad comes up with will be enjoyable. The day Odenkirk and Reeves work together is the day I die happy, but until then, I’m happy waiting to see where this new violent baby of Naishuller and Kolstad goes.
Rating: 8/10 Goldblums.