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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 20, 2021



THOSE WHO enjoy watching violent action films will no doubt have a field day watching “Nobody” about an ordinary family man who becomes the target of the Russian mafia. 

The movie starts with him being interviewed by two cops who ask him: who are you? And his answer is: “I’m nobody”.

Mr. Nobody is played by Bob Odenkirk, who seems to want to follow in the footsteps of Liam Neeson as a late-blooming action star. He started as a comedy writer in the late 90s for “Saturday Night Live”.

 As an actor, he gained fame as the sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman in the hit crime drama series, “Breaking Bad”. 

His character was given his own show, “Better Call Saul”, for which he got nominated as Emmy best actor several times and which led to more acting roles in films.

As the unlikely hero in “Nobody”, Hutch Mansell, he lives a very boring humdrum life with his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen, the Amazon queen in “Wonder Woman”) and their teenage son and little daughter.  

He works in a metal factory owned by his father in law (Michael Ironside) and you can see he’s tired of his tedious routinary life that is established right in the montage opening sequence. 

One night, he wakes up when two burglars enter their home. He gives them his watch and some money but his son gets to subdue one of them. He’s about to attack the other burglar, a woman with a gun, with his golf club but he stops and just lets them get away with it easily. 

His son is so puzzled and annoyed about what he did. He’s humiliated, but when he learns that the thieves also stole his dear daughter’s prized kitty cat bracelet, he decides to track them down.

 He asks the help of his seemingly weak dad (Christopher Lloyd of “Back to the Future”) who lives in a home for the elderly.  

He locates the burglars’ apartment and discovers that they are a couple who resorted to robbery because of their sick child. He forgives them and takes a bus home, all revved up to fight someone to release his pentup boiling emotions and energy. A gang of five goons then boards the bus and starts to harass a female teenage passenger. 

The thugs think they can easily beat up Hutch but are they in for a big surprise as he turns out to be a trained fighting machine and easily beats them all up. 

The youngest member of the gang is a blonde young man who’s about to stab him, but he hits him on the neck and the boy cannot breathe, so he even performs an emergency tracheotomy on him. 

The boy turns out to be the brother of Yulian (Aleksei Serebryakov), the brutal and violent boss of the Russian mob. 

He now vows to seek revenge and orders his men to go to Hutch’s home to kill him. Hutch sees their cars coming and quickly asks his wife and kids to hide in their basement. 

He gets to kill most of the intruders but one of them manages to electrocute him. Yulian’s instruction is for him to be taken alive so they carry him and put him in the trunk of their car to be delivered to Yulian. But he’s very ingenious and manages to free himself and kill them all. 

What follows is Yulian using his entire army to get back at Hutch, but Mr. Nobody knows exactly how to prepare for them. 

His former background as an auditor or assassin hired to kill untouchable criminals is revealed. What follows is the movie’s climactic showdown between Hutch and Yulian who attacks him with an entire army. 

Hutch finds allies in his aging dad who turns out to be a tough asskicker himself and his half brother who is black, played by rapper known as RZA. 

This sequence is truly action-packed, with Hutch using different kinds of weapons and setting up lots of wily traps for his opponents. 

It’s also full of great stunts, the best of which shows Hutch personally confronting Yulian carrying a bulletproof glass with a bomb attached to it which he detonates upon contact with the main villain. There is an epilogue after this sequence, so stay on until the end credits are over.

“Nobody” is directed by Russian director, Ilya Naishuller”, best known for Russian actioner “Hardcore Henry”. 

What it achieves is to prove that a comedian like Bob Odenkirk has got what it takes to be a Keanu Reeves as some of the people he worked with in “Nobody” are also with Keanu in his “John Wick” series. 

Just like that franchise, the violence in “Noboby” borders on being entertainingly absurd and definitely works as a humorous wish-fulfillment movie for sedentary homebound viewers who get vicarious thrills while watching seated on the edge of their armchairs. 

Odenkirk fills the bill marvelously and creates his own relatable and likeable protagonist. 

At first, he looks like a mild-mannered and puny everyman’s doormat. 

He doesn’t look at all like an asskicking brawny hero with nerves of steel, until the time comes for him to switch to action-star mode and he is transformed to this scalding hot pot of rage that can deliver all the nasty goods on all his attackers convincingly with his expertise in combat.

The film’s music is not what you’d expect from this kind of movie but the soundtrack is filled with familiar songs that are used like ironical counterpoints, like “What a Wonderful World”, “Impossible Dream”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, “Let the Good Times Roll”, and even a Tchaikovsky piano concerto.

 Needless to say, we enjoy hearing them while the body count in the fast-paced action scenes continue to increase astronomically with Bod Odenkirk as the new action hero you certainly wouldn’t want to mess with.