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Blu-ray Review: Nobody

June 22, 2021

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) is a nobody. The title card of Nobody literally introduces him as such. He is a middle-aged man who gets up at the same time every day to take the bus to work at a factory, and once a week ends up just missing the garbage truck, only to get chastised by his wife (Connie Nielsen) for forgetting to take the trash out.

This staid routine is shown in a quick-cut montage that opens the film, setting it up in a way that recalls the middle aged male suburban malaise of American Beauty. The film will soon morph into an ultra violent action movie, but this evocative opening grounds Hutch as a sort of relatable everyman before, well, the shit hits the fan.

But, considering that the film comes to us from the director of Hardcore Henry (Ilya Naishuller) and the writer of John Wick (Derek Kolstad), it’s not a shock that it delivers in terms of insane, well choreographed action sequences. It all starts when Hutch’s house gets broken into one night by a couple of young thieves. He holds back and lets them leave without roughing them up, only to be told by every man he that speaks to afterwards that they would have handled it differently.

Feeling emasculated and like he didn’t do enough to apprehend the robbers and protect his wife and kids, Hutch goes out to get revenge, and starts spending his nights prowling around the city’s dark underbelly. This leads him to take on a group of drunk guys on a bus in one of the film’s most brutal hand-to-hand fights, which inadvertently puts the Russian mafia on his trail.

At this point, Nobody goes from being a somewhat more grounded character study of a man who snaps, and turns into a decidedly over the top shoot-’em-up action movie that basically becomes a hard-R riff on Home Alone in its last act. The film does have some pacing and story issues. It essentially has two different inciting incidents (the home invasion and the bus fight), and feels like it starts over at the end of its first act, with the somewhat clichéd reveal of Hutch’s backstory, and the introduction of the main villain Yulian Kuznetsov (played by Russian actor Aleksey Serebryakov, hamming it up). Hutch’s family members, including his wife, also feel underdeveloped.

But Nobody is kept consistently entertaining to watch, thanks to its fast pace and heavy focus on action sequences. The film delivers all of the shootouts, knife fights and car chase action that you could possibly want in a roughly ninety minute movie. Naishuller gives the film a gritty aesthetic, but retains a slightly cheesy feel that keeps it fun. This is all set to a soundtrack of classic songs that provide ironic needle drops, adding to the somewhat tongue-in-cheek tone of the piece.

The film is carried by a committed performance from Odenkirk, who trained extensively to do his own fighting and stunts, and draws upon both his comedic and dramatic abilities to play a sad sack boomer who capably morphs into an action star. In an inspired bit of casting, Christopher Lloyd plays the role of Hutch’s father. Lloyd is given the chance to kick lots of ass, an opportunity that he relishes with obvious glee, providing several of the film’s high points. All in all, Nobody is a decently entertaining movie that delivers for action movie fans.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

The Blu-ray also includes a handful of deleted scenes, featurettes, and a pair of commentary tracks. A code for a digital copy is also included. The package ships with an embossed slipcover.

Deleted Scenes (4 minutes, 58 seconds) A trio of scenes that were cut from the film for length, helping flesh out the discovery of Hutch’s backstory.

Hutch Hits Hard (3 minutes, 52 seconds) A look at Odenkirk’s rigorous stunt training that he underwent to take on the leading role, including learning how to fight.

Breaking Down the Action (19 minutes, 7 seconds) A collection of four entertaining featurettes taking us behind the scenes of the film’s biggest action sequences from planning to execution, cutting between pre-visualization and the finished film. The car chase one is especially cool, showing how they flipped a 1972 Dodge Challenger.

Bus Fight (5 minutes, 31 seconds)

Home Invasion (4 minutes, 19 seconds)

Car Chase (3 minutes, 13 seconds)

Tool and Die (6 minutes, 2 seconds)

Just a Nobody (12 minutes, 53 seconds) A solid overview of the film’s production, exploring how Odenkirk was inspired by his real life experience with a home invasion to pursue his role in the film, the inspired casting of Lloyd and RZA in action-heavy supporting roles, and the tone that Naishuller wanted for the movie.

Feature Commentary With Actor/Producer Bob Odenkirk and Director Ilya Naishuller

Feature Commentary With Director Ilya Naishuller

Nobody is a Universal Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 92 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: June 22nd, 2021

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