Nobody Review

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

PLOT: A suburban everyman's (Bob Odenkirk) past comes back to haunt him following a home invasion.

REVIEW: Schwarzenegger. Stallone. Snipes. Washington. Bronson. Van Damme. Wills. Eastwood. Neeson. Reeves…Odenkirk? Yes, folks, believe it or not, Bob Odenkirk, the famous Mr. Show alum and Slippin’ Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman himself establishes himself as an action icon in the shoot-up blast of testosterone that is Nobody! This is the movie that abysmal Death Wish remake should have been, with Odenkirk playing a seemingly mild-mannered everyman who disappoints his family when he allows a home invasion to happen. Turns out though, his Hutch Mansell is no suburban nobody. Rather, he’s a highly trained former government agent known as The Auditor who’s been on the down-lo for years only to suddenly blast into action at the end of a very bad day when he decimates a gang of murderous Russian thugs hassling a young woman. They turn out to be connected to some heavy hitters, meaning this “Nobody” and his family are in their cross-hairs, but no one – NO ONE – is gonna mess with The Auditor. 

I went into this expecting a nifty little action movie but it easily exceeded my expectations. It comes from director Ilya Naishuller who directed the stylish if shallow Hardcore Henry some years back. It has a script by John Wick scribe Derek Kolstad that almost makes it feel like an unofficial spin-off at times, with a vast underworld mythology and killers with cool nicknames. Grounding it all is the incredibly likable Odenkirk. A classic everyman, he’s one of the most deceptively badass action stars in some time as, unlike the new guard, which includes Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, and The Rock, Odenkirk isn’t surface tough. He doesn’t have bulging muscles and he doesn’t affect a tough guy attitude. He’s laid back and easy-going, quick to smile and have a chat, and doesn’t seem like a simmering inferno of violence – unless he’s pushed. Odenkirk trained for four years to make this movie, and the result is up there on the screen. He’s like Vince Vaughn in Brawl in Cell Block 99, where once you see him in action hero mode it seems like the most natural thing in the world. 

Unlike Statham, Vin Diesel, and The Rock, Odenkirk also allows himself to get bested at times and take his lumps. He gets the shit kicked out of him here, making the fights all the more exciting because hey – he’s only Bob Odenkirk – he could die before the end credits! Anything goes in Nobody, and the action design is SICK. The highlight is the first big fight scene on a city bus, where Odenkirk uses everything he can find to take out these hulking villains. They include some MVP stunt-men like Alain Moussi and Daniel Bernhardt, who’s been killed by Keanu Reeves a whole bunch of times in the John Wick and Matrix movies, and also had that amazing episode-long fight with Bill Hader in Barry. Bernhardt co-choreographed the fights and does an amazing job. This also counts David Leitch as a producer so you know the action is legit.

Odenkirk really goes to town in this one, raking up a body count that probably doubles that of all three Taken movies combined. But, it’s not just mindless action. Odenkirk makes you care about the character and his family, with him having a warm, affectionate and believable relationship with his on-screen wife, played by the great Connie Nielsen, and his kids. We get that he loves them and doesn’t want to disappoint them, but once the killing starts it ain’t gonna stop. However – the BEST thing about the cast here is a late-in-the-game cameo by The RZA in full action-hero mode, while Christopher Lloyd – yes 80-something Christopher Lloyd of Back to the Future plays Odenkirk’s pistol-packing dad. He has a scene with RZA and Odenkirk that’ll make you stand up and cheer. If he was twenty years younger, Lloyd would probably be getting his own Nobody. Too bad Hollywood never cast him against type back in the day. But I digress.

My only issue with Nobody is the villain, played by Aleksei Serebryakov, who has a GREAT introduction and is certainly menacing, but he doesn’t get enough screen time. He should have been built up more as a physical threat to Odenkirk. A minor caveat though, as Niashuller’s crafted one heck of a fun action flick, with a light, breezy tone and some inspired song choices, with this probably the first action movie I’ve seen that has set pieces set to Andy Williams and Pat Benetar. Nobody is a sleeper hit in the truest sense of the word, and if things were a little different out there, it would likely have a better chance of being seen theatrically. In theaters are open near you, give this a shot. It’s the best commercial action movie we’ve gotten in a long while. I loved every second of it and can’t wait to see it again! 




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About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.