13 years ago, moviegoing audiences who weren't afraid of a little violence fell in love with a man possessing a particular set of skills who just wanted his daughter back. He was only the beginning. Seven years ago, that same audience was delivered a new badass - a ragtag former assassin who just wanted to grieve in peace with his new puppy, but "they" wouldn't let him. Now, the dudes that brought us 'John Wick' are back with a new anti-hero - and those of us who love a man with principles and a flare for the most awesome and awesomely violent set pieces are salivating. Meet 'Nobody'.
Hutch Mensell (Bob Odenkirk, TV's 'Better Call Saul') lives a quiet yet repetitive suburban life with his wife and two kids. He works for his father-in-law's business, he and his wife sleep with a pillow between them, his son doesn't respect him much, and he forgets to take the garbage out every damn week. We're given small glimpses that there's more to this cliché of a man than meets the eye, but none more so than when Hutch and his family are held at gunpoint one night by a couple of desperate robbers. Little is taken, but Hutch is triggered when his little girl's kitty cat bracelet is listed among the stolen goods. Hutch's efforts to retrieve the beloved item sets off a chain of events that no one could have seen coming - and soon enough, the bullets start flying, the bodies start piling up, the Russians are pissed, the match is lit, and Hurricane Hutch is on the loose.
'Nobody' is 'John Wick's' younger cousin. Where 'John Wick' draws in both men and women with the Keanu Reeves factor (and the films simply being so damn cool), 'Nobody' draws on Odenkirk's natural state as a comedian and offers up much more humour - however dry - as well as the plethora of punches, knocked-out teeth, angry mobsters and explosions.
As far as plots go, the sleeper assassin has been done - even by 'Nobody's' predecessor 'John Wick'. This go-around just trades in a puppy for a child's bracelet. So that factor feels a little old, but let's be real: we're not here for the story. We're here to eat popcorn and (watch someone else) kick arse! And we're all outta popcorn. But 'Nobody' delivers. I once described 'John Wick' as an exquisite ballet of action and violence (or something to that effect), but director Ilya Naishuller ('Hardcore Henry') has failed to match the grace and slickness here that we've come to love and appreciate. He's still managed to create some great moments and inject his own style. Writer Derek Kolstad, whose writing credits include every past and future 'John Wick' and 'The Falcon and Winter Soldier', is fast becoming the new Luc Besson in terms of consistency, coolness and appeal. If his name is in the credits, then I'm down for it.
It's still a wild and crazy escapist romp that'll leave any action fan happy.
Although Kolstad hasn't quite nailed it this time around - and the nitpicker in me took issue with a few plot lines - it's still a wild and crazy escapist romp that'll leave any action fan happy - myself included. Oh yeah, and Christopher Lloyd and RZA are in this too, kicking arse and taking names, if that helps.