April 19, 2021

'Nobody' - The Bro's Movie Review

'Nobody' - The Bro's Movie Review
(By Kalan Smith)
 
In a Nutshell: Nobody becomes Old Man John Wick! 7/10
 
*Spoilers Ahead*
 
For a 95-minute film, Nobody packs a punch. That feels like the go to, hilarious dad joke line everyone should use for this film right? We are introduced to the schlubby, enigmatic Hutch (Bob Odenkirk), and his very mundane, average American life that is presented in a Groundhog’s Day fashion. Each day almost identical to the next. 

Rinse, repeat. Each and every week.

You can see the visual frustration of a man being beaten down by the mundanity of a normal suburban life. His wife, Becca (Connie Nielsen), a successful woman with billboards of her face here and there, barely acknowledges him. When they lay down for the night, she puts a pillow between them, like a wall, leaving him to ponder why, and where it all went wrong. The testament to having everything and nothing in the same breath.

The monotony of this American dream is broken up by a home invasion. One that sees our enigmatic hero Hutch...not be very heroic. Having the drop on one of the would be burglars, with his teenage son fighting the other, Hutch is about to go to town with a golf club...when he stops and lowers the makeshift weapon.
Rather than fight, he simply asks the vigilantes to take what they want, and leave. The one fighting with the son punches the son in the eye as the boy looks at his father with bewilderment and a trace of disgust.

“Why didn’t you fight back!?” He says angrily. And Hutch has no real reply.

The police arrive and add further insult to injury as one of the cops tells Hutch, “if that were my family...well, I guess we all do things differently”...

It’s here that the film swerves into the fast lane. The first 15 to 20 minutes almost drag by, the Groundhog Day grinding down. And it’s in one of these little cuts, that things begin to accelerate.

Hutch, an accountant for a metal working company owned by his wife’s father, sits in his cramped, miserable little office, and cranks on an old record player/radio. As the music plays, a slight hum can be heard, and then a voice says, “heard about last night.” Hutch begins to talk to the voice on the other side of the radio, recalling everything that happened during the home invasion with perfect clarity. Down to the gun .38 Special revolver the woman had pointed at him being empty, and the tattoo on her wrist.

The voice on the other end tells him he gets why he didn’t do anything now.

“Best not to draw attention,” he says.

And that’s where Nobody becomes Old Man John Wick. Which is interesting because realistically Bob Odenkirk is only 2 years older than Keanu Reeves, Bob being 58, and Keanu 56.

While much of the action, story, villains (Russian gangsters), and humor of Nobody is a blatant rip off, and lesser version in my opinion, of the aforementioned John Wick series, Nobody still has some fun, albeit dumbed down moments to offer. One of the best additions to the film being the surprise of Christopher Lloyd, who plays Hutch’s gun loving, shotgun toting, father that resides in a nursing home watching old westerns all day.
 
Photo credit: CNS Photo/Allen Fraser, Universal Pictures

While Nobody does some small world building, it cannot quite match the air of the Continental Hotel, or the Assassin’s Creed, the gold coins, or much of the world that the John Wick series breathes in. It also doesn’t have as much fluff as John Wick when it comes to ego stroking. Nobody really knows Nobody. He’s an anonymous figure with a special set of skills. And he likes basements.

Over the course of the film Nobody will often try to extol the various baddies after they’ve been mortally wounded. Trying to tell them who he is and what he used to do before settling down, becoming a family man. But they rarely manage to stay alive long enough to hear, dying within the first few sentences and leaving him just talking to himself.

And in a way? That’s what sets Nobody apart. On the surface, he’s an average joe. Has a wife and a family. A house. A job. Wears normal close, and commutes to work by bus. Nobody is relatable. And that’s what makes the film not become just another John Wick.

Deceptively fun, mindless entertainment, Nobody fills a lull in the void of the 2020 era that makes going to the movies fun again. It may not be the best realized, choreographed, or pretty film...but it does what it sets out to do. Deliver a punch back in the theater. And it does it surprisingly well.