Just a film trying to be a Somebody.
“Nobody” doesn’t really deviate much from the standard action flick. However, it paints a picture dissimilar from most. It slowly reels the viewer into the story through some long visual exposition on Hutch’s life using tiny bursts of his day-to-day. Small snippets of his previous life are slowly given, letting the audience piece together his killer past… At least, until the end of the film, where the backstory is handed to the audience through clunky exposition.
Most of the film is taken up by some well-choreographed action scenes. The rest is either intense, heated conversation, or Hutch’s family downtime. The core of the film is family, but not the type of family one would first think, adding a nice wrinkle to the plot. Hutch and his family’s past could have been a film all it’s own, but instead of the exciting forward, we get a middling afterward.
Nevertheless, it’s all pretty rote, and painfully so. Sure, there are some fun moments that switched up expectations, but by the end it became predictable. I just wish the directors and writers trusted the audience more instead of spoon-feeding them.
My PLOT RATING is 6 / 10.
Hutch (Bob Odenkirk) – Inescapable from his Saul Goodman role, Hutch is somewhat similar to Slippin’ Jimmy in “Better Call Saul.” He’s just a guy looking to do what’s right while battling his inner demons. Odenkirk brings a ‘detached’ aura to the character, leaving the audience to question what his true motives are. He pulls off the action scenes well, taking and giving hits like a champ, but we’re never truly meant to connect with the character. I personally connected with the actor more than the character, as I knew him from other projects.
David Mansell (Christopher Lloyd) is like seeing an old friend. He was the tipping point for me watching this film, and he delivered. While yes, there are some points where he shows his age poorly, he’s still a gun-barrel of fun. His facial expressions crack me up (even when they’re plain). He’s a delight to see onscreen once again.
Harry Mansell (RZA) has somewhat of a bit part worth mentioning. While we do ‘hear’ him for a lot of the runtime, his presence isn’t actually seen until the last act. He’s also one of the few black actors in the film, all three of which have small parts, and all could have ben fleshed out more. His character isn’t as connected to the story as I would have wanted, and he most likely have been cut out in another film.
Becca (Connie Nielsen), Brady (Gage Munroe), and Sammy Mansell (Paisley Cadorath) are the pathos of the film. They don’t do all that much except add to the stress Hutch is under, and to give him someone to protect. As their screentime dwindled, I found myself wondering if they were even needed in the film as much as they already were.
Yulien Kuznetsov (Alexey Serebryakov) is the antagonist, presented differently than most Russian Mobsters. He enjoys fine art, karaoke, and making a point by disfiguring others. He is a pretty run-of-the-mill villain, though his introduction is one of the best parts of the film. He’s just so earnest and heartfelt about his karaoke even though he can’t really sing. He’s a good villain, but not a great one.
My CHARACTERS RATING is 7 / 10.
While the scripts holds itself together, the dialogue leaves something to be desired. A lot of it is slow and plodding, going for dramatic, while some comedic moments just miss the mark, having a beat too long between joke and punchline. The long, expository speeches are solid and well-written, yet the casual dialogue leaves something to be desired.
My DIALOGUE RATING is 6 / 10.
The effects are where this film finally does right. Fight choreography is on point, shifting action set pieces from foreground and background in the blink of an eye. When punches connect, you feel them connect, especially in the bus fight scene.
The film plays with its budget, sometimes not showing action in favor of the aftermath, saving those big moments for when it really needs them. Fire, explosions, and gunfire are all here, though the gunfire seems fake at points.
My EFFECTS RATING is 8 / 10.
Sometimes silence is golden. The score really knew when to keep quiet at points and let the action run. I don’t really remember that many moments of actual score, that honor goes to the fantasticlyrical music choices. Old standards like “Heartbreaker”, “Feel So Good”, What a Wonderful World”, “Let the Good Times Roll”, “Straighten Up and Fly Right” and more all give their moments used an ironic twist. Catchy and energetic, the songs catch you off guard when used, and throw back to decades past with a smile.
My MUSIC RATING is 8 / 10.
“Nobody” is a film with a great backstory, a so-so present story, and some good takeaway lessons. At it’s core, this is a film that prides the family you have over the family you create, and how old habits die hard. It’s also a film whose end is a blast to watch, combining Die Hard with Home Alone and a touch of Back to the Future.
While the plot may have a lot of setup and some unused threads, the action-packed payoffs are worth it. The characters are mostly interesting based on the actors who play them, yet there are some kernels of good characters here. The dialogue misses its timing at points, but it’s at least serviceable. The effects and music are the best parts of the film, combining fiery backdrops and explosions with classic pop and rock music. Nobody may not be the best film, but it’s one that somebody out there will love.
My OVERALL RATING for Nobody is 70%.