Nobody (Action, Crime) (2021)
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Aleksey Serebryakov, Colin Salmon, Cristopher Lloyd
Living an ordinary suburban life, Hutch Mansell’s (Bob Odenkirk) family situation gets harshly interrupted as his home is robbed, and his household is put in danger. This serves as a catalyst for Hutch to take control and fight back, leading to a chain reaction attracting the ire of Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksey Serebryakov). A dangerous Russian drug lord who wants nothing more than to kill Hutch after his brother has been hospitalized.
Both a brutal action movie and somewhat of a parody towards the ‘’John Wick’’ franchise, ‘’Nobody’’ is directed by relatively new director Ilya Naishuller, known best for his POV feature film ‘’Hardcore- Henry’’. Having experience with action and brutality in cinema, he collaborates with writer Derek Kolstad, who’s been writing the scripts for the ‘’John Wick’’ franchise, thus the parody.
Imagine what it would be like if you took ‘’John Wick’’ and accentuated the humorous segments—retaining the other parts such as the excellent fighting choreography and fluid action. ‘’Nobody’’ would be the result of such an experiment. Derek Kolstad’s fingerprint is quite visible as he pokes fun at a franchise that attained a lot of success partly due to his writing. The parallels are quickly drawn, not omitting slight variants to the concept. Our main character is vastly different; being a suburban husband that doesn’t have/or has to regain fighting experience, the scenes maintain the fluid motion despite being visibly more ferocious and feeling improvised.
Decidedly being an action movie, it’s effectively infused with all the dark humour you’d need; comedic angles and solutions are scattered throughout the film, taking the edge off the violent intensity. The intentional combination of features shows expertise in what I’d describe as a smart action feature. As enjoyable as the film is, some parts had to be rushed; there’s barely a time to catch your breath as Hutch barrels onwards like a high-speed train towards the destination already shown at the start of the film. The explanation for the fast-paced plot and some lack of connective tissue in places is likely the short duration, counting in at roughly an hour and thirty minutes.
As I mentioned at the start of this review, ‘’Nobody’’ is directed by Ilya Naishuller. A Moscow born Russian creator that seems to have a refined understanding of what makes an action movie. And what might be overlooked by the general audience is considered heavily by Naishuller. That is, the Russian gangsters used as the antagonists of the story. Instead of going the typical route, the mobsters are played by actual Russian actors, which shows and is a feather in the cap for the film’s director and casting department.
Just as the inspiration for ‘’Nobody’’, it is a primarily straightforward action movie that stands out due to the effective action sequences and overall entertaining plot. The short duration, unexplained moments and fast-forwards are most to its detriment but don’t let that dissuade you from this rollercoaster ride with the excellent Bob Odenkirk in the front row.
Drawing itself close to a beloved franchise, it burns itself to the candle yet still works independently.