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Suburbian Breakdown: Nobody (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 301 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Photo Courtesy of UniversalStop me if you have heard this premise before: unassuming regular guy has an idyllic home life in the suburbs and due to unfortunate circumstances involving the Russian mob he has to utilize deadly skills he acquired as an assassin in a former life to protect what he loves. Thanks to the success of films like Taken (2008) and John Wick (2014) the idea of the everyman with a secret ass kicking past is a popular action flick trope, and that brings us to the newest iteration which is director Ilya Naishuller's Nobody (2021).Nobody follows the life of Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) a seemingly normal family man with a boring job and a repetitive routine. One night, he is awakened by robbers trying to break into his house and after confronting them the situation escalates, but at the last second he refrains from killing them and lets them go. This intrusion into his private home is the catalyst that starts a chain reaction of suppressed feelings and urges he has been holding in for years. Hutch might be a "nobody" but he definitely used to be somebody, if you get my drift.  Odenkirk is an interesting pick for an action protagonist, as physically he doesn't feel intimidating, but he brings a world-weary and sardonic darkness to the character that is rare to come by. Nobody doesn't take itself completely seriously and at times it flirts with being an all out satire of the genre, but it's hard to discern the intent sometimes as the tone isn't consistent. Naishuller's previous film Hardcore Henry (2015) was an all out bonkers send-up of action tropes and Nobody feels like a similar concept but more subtle. The action choreography is mostly excellent, and it feels a bit more organic and realistic (at least in the first act) than other modern action films. Hutch isn't invincible, he makes mistakes, and the fights have some tension to them because he actually takes damage and even gets knocked out from time-to-time. He has a scrappy street fighter style that is fun to watch. These fights are pretty bloody too, the sheer brutality is surprising. As the film goes on the battles get more outlandish, but that is to be expected as the stakes ramp up as well.  Unfortunately, the story and writing are the weakest aspects of the film. Odenkirk is entertaining but other than him, the characters are all two-dimensional cliches. A good action film needs a memorable villain and Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebryakov) plays the most dull Russian mob boss in history. There is also an attempt to seed some mysterious lore with the background for Hutch, but there is too little given for it to impact the story. The short runtime doesn't help, an extra twenty minutes to explore some of the backstory of Hutch would have helped flesh him out immensely, and made for a more compelling narrative. Odenkirk is a fantastic character actor and it's a missed opportunity to not use that to your advantage.Despite the unoriginal premise, Nobody is a briskly directed action film that's worth a watch just for Odenkirk's performance.--Michelle Kisner (function() { var zergnet = document.createElement('script'); zergnet.type = 'text/javascript'; zergnet.async = true; zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https:" : "http:") + '//www.zergnet.com/zerg.js?id=59239'; var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr); })();

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