When you see the first “John Wick“Film and then leave this franchise to like action players”Deadpool 2” and “Atomic blonde, “But still wanted a toe grip in the” John Wick “universe, Universal‘S new action film “Nobody“Seems like the perfect fit. Written by Derek Kolstad, the narrative architect of the “John Wick” franchise produced by David Leitch– the co-director and producer of “John Wick: Chapter 1“Who left the franchise to direct some of the above films -” Nobody “reads a bit like Leitch and Kolstad trying to reunite and play in a similar universe again (only when Leitch is too busy because “Nobody” is essentially “John Wick” with the same formula, just two twists: Dadbod sensibility and dry comedic wit to match his new improbable lead a great depth of character that the film plays with, but which it never fulfills.
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In “Nobody”, defiant and playing with expectations, Bob Odenkirk (“Better call Saul”) Takes the unlikely role of the action star. Under the direction of a suitable Leitch replacement Ilya Naishuller (“Hardcore Henry”) Could the whole premise of“ Nobody ”be: What if we remade“ John Wick ”but reinterpreted it by starring a taken for granted Saul Goodman guy?
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Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, the humble, unhappily married father of two who is overlooked and unappreciated by his wife, family and superiors. Unassertive and submissive, Hutch takes many of the shame, insults, and injustices of life on her chin and is essentially invisible to anyone except the person who can take advantage of you. But one night life begins to change and unlock when two thieves break into his suburban home. His teenage son Blake (Gage Munroe), tries to fight back, but although Hutch drops one of the criminals, he plays it safe and lets him escape.
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Blake is deeply disappointed and ashamed of his father and confuses his need to protect his family with cowardice and Hutch’s already distant wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) seems doubly unimpressed. Triggered by the humiliation the incident causes, not to mention his coworkers and boss (Becca’s family), who already consider him an emasculated cuck, something snaps inside Hutch and he goes wild with revenge.
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What it turns out is: Hutch didn’t get as angry (this isn’t as layered as “Falling down“For example a film that it vaguely resembles at first) when a long dormant piece of him is finally torn out of its fog. Because as you guessed, Hutch is essentially another John Wick: a former murderer and assassin who left everything behind for suburban family life. Rather than the dead dog being the trigger that triggers the wrath of the hibernating impulses for violence, it is the indignities of life that have activated this passive killer instinct.
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Now the audience is probably not giving any of this to a rat, just wanting to know how bad it is and how satisfying it feels when Odenkirk cathartically breaks bones, knuckles bloody ankles, and smashes skulls. Well, in that regard, “Nobody” checks all the boxes. It’s visceral, brutal, angry, well shot in the grueling style of “John Wick” movies – which means it doesn’t hide the plot through cuts and likes to show as much punishment as possible in one take – and it’s entertainingly violent ( if entertaining violence is your thing). It also takes advantage of Odenkirk’s comedic strokes and adds a dead lightness to things and finds dark humor in cruel retribution. Great, fine, fun stuff, supposedly.
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But as much as this is superficially pleasant, it’s also some kind of red – well-done action that essentially applies the “John Wick” formula to a very similar format. In fact, “Nobody” lets itself down because it is the – at least at least – greatly improved 2.0 version of “John Wick”, which actually has a strong, credible character structure and underestimates human notions of shame, humiliation and being as a person and undervalued. God bless, Keanu, But Wick didn’t have much to offer than a deceased woman and a dead dog, and wasn’t really interested in using any texture other than igniting the kick assery.
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However, it is the unpleasant idea of being ignored, disrespectful, invisible and easily pushed around in the world structure that makes “nobody” relatable and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, the film almost instantly dumps all of that stuff in favor of Odenkirk, who is creative and getting pretty wild himself. There is also the element of hiding our true nature, of trying to be the good father rather than the animal we are, and the compelling and potentially funny idea of fatherhood and protective instincts, married to the ideas of an overboard guardian . “Nobody” flirts with this stuff briefly (in short, that’s generous), but once the movie is “on” the electrical currents of violence propel the story forward with no end in sight.
Later, Christopher Lloyd emerges as Hutch’s father, who has his own deadly secrets the RZA as his adoptive brother and eventually Aleksey Serebryakov as the unscrupulous Russian gangster Yulian Kuznetsov, whom Hutch accidentally initiates on his own vengeance mission, when the dressed father unknowingly injures a child linked to the unforgiving Russian mob who raise the stakes at the end of act one. Lloyd adds an amusing comedy, Serebryakov is good as the psycho-villain that pays off, and RZA is a sufficient ace in the hole in the final act.
But none of this really saves “Nobody” or at least promotes it beyond the average and semi-distracting actioner that it is. Yes, Naishuller is an inventive action shooter, and if highly coordinated action orchestration is your game, no-one will undoubtedly make you shine. However, if you’d like to see the intriguing ideas the film itself suggests ahead of time, about fatherhood, guardianship, violence, contempt, and neglect, at least throughout the action story, you’ve come to the wrong film. There’s even a little thread of angry, forgotten, dissatisfied, white guys that “nobody” could easily have played into, who relied a little on the provocative ideas of Russell Crowes “Nothing, “Without being a lazy movie, but no,” Nobody “doesn’t really bother to push that button either. Look,” Nobody “whips their ass out, sure. But in the end the movie is happy with it, to clap as a “John Wick” alternative and never fully use the dadrock thing he has settled down with to stand out from others. “Nobody” is arguably a man who fights for his dignity more than a revenge film but most of it is really just lost in a barrage of blows. [C+]