Monday, March 29, 2021

MOVIE REVIEW: Bob Odenkirk Punches His Way Through 'Nobody' in Convincing Fashion

Posted By on Mon, Mar 29, 2021 at 12:30 PM

Now Playing at Roadhouse Cinemas and Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18

Bob Odenkirk has been one of my comic idols for the past 30 years. His impersonation of Charles Manson on The Ben Stiller Show had me hooked, and his run on Mr. Show with partner-in-crime David Cross solidified him as one of my heroes.

It was a great pleasure to see him pop up on Breaking Bad in a pure dramatic acting role as sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman, and later on the spinoff Better Call Saul as Jimmy McGill (Saul’s real name). The guy should have a shelf full of Emmys for his work on that show.

Nobody, an ultra-violent thriller from writer Derek Kolstad (creator of John Wick) and director Ilya Naishuller, takes Odenkirk in a direction nobody could’ve seen coming. In it, he plays Hutch Mansell, a mild-mannered husband and father who has his house invaded by a couple of nervous crooks. This event ignites an old, buried aspect of Mansell’s personality, an aspect that results in deserving people losing their teeth and getting their tracheas crushed.

Hutch has an assassin’s past and, like a deprived vampire smelling blood or a heroin addict near a pile of drugs, he can’t resist the chance to dive back in. This results in a lot of John Wick-like badassery in which Odenkirk shows he more than has the chops to throw down convincingly on screen. He trained hard for this movie, and it shows with every stunt he partakes in (it’s seemingly always him on screen). Kudos to the fight choreographers for this film, and kudos to Odenkirk who rises to the challenge in majestically bloody fashion.

The plot involves the Russian mob and gold bars, much like Wick, but this film has a very different, more grounded tone. Connie Nielsen is on hand as Hutch’s mysterious wife (she’s pretty darned good at patching up his wounds), and Christopher Lloyd has some of his most on-screen fun in years as Hutch’s also very mysterious dad.

Seeing Odenkirk breaking arms and performing emergency tracheotomies is just about the most bizarre theater-going experience I’ve had in the last decade. It’s also a total blast. I doubt this is the start of an action hero phase for Odenkirk, but who knows? Maybe he has himself a franchise now. I would certainly line up for Nobody: Chapter 2.

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