Thursday, May 20, 2021

Bob Odenkirk is definitely somebody in the terrific "Nobody"


I am so obsessed with movies that I love reading about the behind-the-scenes making of movies. What ideas led to that finished product we see on the big screen in the dark. Back in 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a science fiction action film called "Total Recall." The character Schwarzenegger was hired to play was an ordinary that essentially got himself into an extraordinary situation. The thing is, looking at Arnold, he's not an ordinary man. He was built to be an action star, so when he's playing an ordinary man doing action packed things, I don't believe he's an ordinary man. I mean, look at his physic. Its one of the reasons why "Total Recall" has never completely worked for me. Before Arnold was cast in "Total Recall," the studio making the film considered both William Hurt and, oddly enough, Richard Dreyfuss. I have to admit, a "Total Recall" featuring either of those guys would have been something special. William Hurt and Richard Dreyfuss are definitely just regular guys and seeing them throw down in action movie would have been cool.

Bob Odenkirk is an actor I have loved for many years, but he's not a guy who think of when thinking of action heroes. He's superb in things like "Breaking Bad," "Better Call Saul," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Incredibles," "Fargo" and a huge host of comedic material he's done over the years. That's always been his MO, comedy. So its extra shocking to see him throw down in a movie like "Nobody." I want to say that its the best kind of shock though, because "Nobody" is the best pure action movie since "John Wick."

Odenkirk plays Hutch. He's a typical everyman, whose days seem to blur together. He's got a family, and he clearly loves them, but they don't seem to have a close bond. His wife and him barely have time during the week for each other. Hutch seems like he's settled in life but not satisfied and he's barely registering as a human. He wakes up in the morning, makes breakfast, goes to work comes home, eats dinner, sleeps. Rinse, wash repeat. Most of the time too, he forgets to put the garbage out on garbage day. He's also become a passive person. That becomes clear when people break into his home and his teenage son shows more bravery against the thieves. 

Hutch has a secret though. A secret he keeps from everyone in his world. This secret though is literally tearing him apart though, because he's living the life of a caged lion and soon his rage is going to consume him. See, before Hutch had a family, and a dead-end job, he was an "auditor," and that's a fancy term for assassin. He broke fools left and right before settling down into a normal life and it seems this is eating at him. Hutch eventually goes back and using some talents of old friends, finds the thieves, they are a regular couple who broke into his home due to desperation though, so he eventually leaves. When some punks get on a bus on his way home, his rage is unleased.

One of the punks Hutch wrecks on the bus happens to have connections to the Russian Mafia, and when the head of the Mafia finds out what has happened to him, they want revenge. As movies like these go, the Mafia will eventually regret that decision.

Let me just say that Bob Odenkirk absolutely slaps as Hutch. I love, love, love it when actors break out of their comfort zones to do something new, and this is easily the best modern example of that. He's a believable fighter in this movie, and the action scenes are full of fun moments. But they work more than that though. During the brawl on the bus, because Hutch hasn't been a killer for awhile, he's slow to really heat up as a fighter. Hutch isn't an invulnerable superhero in this. Each punch and kick he throws seems to cost him something by contrast. It makes the action scenes more visceral, it makes them more believable and it makes the stakes higher. 

Did I mention that Christopher Lloyd shows up in this as Hutch's dad. You know Christopher Lloyd right? Doc from "Back To The Future." Yeah, he's in this and let me just say holy shit. Holy shit. That's all I will say about his performance in this.

There is a comedic vibe to some of the scenes in this movie, but Odenkirk plays Hutch honest and authentic all the way through. This could be the best thing he's done so far. There are many great co-stars he gets to bounce off of in this film. Including Michael Ironside, Connie Nielsen, RZA and Colin Salmon, all of whom do great work in this film as well.

"Nobody" is a rich piece of action entertainment. It's filled with actors ripping up scenery. It's got some bone-crunching action scenes. There are bits of believable romance in it. There are a few laughs here and there. It's everything we go to the movies for. There's even a nice set up for spin-offs and sequels and I definitely want more of Hutch. When you see this, you will want more Hutch afterward too. More than anything, you will demand to see your favorite actors in different ways. I want to see actors break out of their comfort zones more often. Odenkirk nailed it. This is one of 2021's best films so far, so check it out.

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