in Hmm Weekly
on April 12, 2021

Nobody, directed by Ilya Naishuller

THE GIMMICK WITH thisJohn Wick–type interpersonal combat + violence movie is that it stars a less-dreamy actor, Bob Odenkirk, a highly-accomplished and celebrated sketch comedy writer and performer. The publicity churn is all about how against-type the casting is, since Bob Odenkirk is not Keanu Reeves or The Rock. Also, Mr. Odenkirk has personal experience being robbed at gunpoint, and the publicity machine has spread the word that this inspired him to get the movie made, where a hiding-in-plain-sight former Government Operative struggles with suppressing his history of violence.

There’s no spoilers here, all the ads explain the premise for the movie, they even blew the best line, so if you dig the Dirty Harry and Death Wish and Keanu Reeves violence and revenge and ass-kicking movies, and the Liam Neeson certain-setta-skills stuff, this motion picture is 100 percent for you, and you will enjoy all the nutty and inventive beatings and stabbings and murderings and car-crashing and explosions. The best set piece is when Mr. Odenkirk’s character takes public transportation and decides to beat the living shit out of a bunch of awful goons.

They kinda bugged me, the goons on the bus, because they lead to Russian bad people, which, like, was exactly the whole John Wick thing, couldn’t they have made ‘em Ukrainian or Swiss or something? Croatian? Just change it up a little bit? Bulgarian? So many tattoos. Armenian? Lichtensteiners?

Anyway, Bob Odenkirk does really well playing our hero, a repressed everyman, and he has already proven himself as a serious dramatic actor, once in a turn as a pathetic scumbag entertainment agent inThe Larry Sanders Show on Home Box, and again in his continuing role as an emotionally damaged scumbag lawyer in the AMC television programs Breaking Bad andBetter Call Saul.

Another thing that bugged me about this movie is Mr. Odenkirk’s hair, he’s gotta have a better hair person. Sean Connery’s hair was always topnotch. Another-also is how quick the whole thing degenerates from a gripping, for-real examination of a person’s inadequacies in an assault and robbery and all the damaging emotional second-guessing and delayed stress it spawns (got robbed, shoulda foiled the robbers, beat their fuckin’ asses for coming near me and my family), along with the sobering consequences of seeking some sort of revenge/justice, into a comic book graphic novel type thing with a whole nest of cartoon characters ready to be activated, but again, if you like that kinda bullshit, this flick fucking kicks ass, there’s gonna be so many sequels.

Also this movie personally inspired me to start doing chin-ups, wow Bob Odenkirk can knock out a buncha chin-ups, seriously.