01st Nov2021

‘Nobody’ Blu-ray Review

by Chris Thomas

Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, Alexey Serebryakov, Christopher Lloyd, RZA, Michael Ironside, Colin Salmon, Billy MacLellan, Gage Munroe | Written by Derek Kolstad | Directed by Ilya Naishuller

As a child of the 80s and 90s I was a huge action film fan. In my mind, action was only slightly less amazing than horror. I remember films like Predator and Total Recall being extraordinary thrill rides where men were men, muscles, and violence. As time went on, I got older, and the world seemed to get more complicated. Problems could no longer be solved by punching, or shooting them, and action films seemed to become more and more spectacular, while also becoming more and more empty and hollow. Visual effects, and a superficial style of ladies like Megan Fox, and explosions have completely supplanted plot or character development (even if, arguably character development was never high, it was never on a par with a pop music video). Michael Bay, The Expendables, each, roaringly dull franchise took me further and further away from the action films that I loved, and the magic that they held.

It is perhaps only natural, that action films would have their day in the sun, then go the way of the Western (as surely as the superhero genre is in its last sunny days before hibernation, no matter how much money Disney might throw at it).

It has taken decades of time away, and something like John Wick to reignite a glimmer of my interest in the action genre. A stylish, comic book noir world, with an unstoppable avenger in John Wick. However, the plot is a simple samurai or western tale, but the acting is good, and more importantly the action sequences are incredible but also visceral. John Wick uses real life things, he gets horribly hurt in the fights, but his superpower is in the incredible training and precision of his movement, and the speed of his reflexes. John Wick is older, only forced back to violence because he feels he has no choice…

Which is where Nobody comes in… I pre-ordered the film several months ago but had to wait several extra months to finally see it!

Nobody is very much in the John Wick mould. Hutch is the aging, special forces bad ass type, doing his best to keep his lid screwed tightly on as the mild-mannered family man. His wife is disinterested in him, most of his kids are the same, and his colleagues show him little but contempt. Hutch is the nice guy, but he’s not an alpha male. He is the bloke that takes the bus, while his more successful wife has a nice car. Hutch has a travel mug for his coffee, no aspirational star bucks for him.

One night Hutch and the family have a break in, a la John Wick, but this time it is not the Russian mafia, it is merely a desperate couple, that cause a chain of events that ensures that Hutch bumps into some Russian mafia, with little excuse not to get into a brutal bus fight with them.

Hutch has a mysterious friend, who knows everything that is happening, to fill in any inconvenient plot holes but, honestly, we are here for 1 hour and 30 minutes exactly of Bob Odenkirk getting in brutal and bruising fights with a succession of Russian mafia archetypes, all of whom very much deserve it. It is silly at times, knowingly so, and Nobody is an extremely archetypal film, most of the film can be cut and pasted from other films (most noticeably John Wick, but others besides).

What this doesn’t account for, however is the brilliant skill and craft that has gone into Nobody. From the acting, to the direction, and of course, the bruising physical confrontations. Not every film has to be avant garde, blazing a trail. Sometimes a brilliantly made little film where the main character solves all his problems by punching them can make me feel, for 1 hour and 30 minutes, like all my problems can be punched away…

Bonus Features:

  • Feature Commentary with Actor/Producer Bob Odenkirk and Director Ilya Naishuller
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Hutch Hits Hard
  • Breaking Down The Action
  • Just a NOBODY

Nobody is out now on DVD and Blu-ray from Universal Pictures.

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