Here’s one that almost slipped past me. It was about a coupe of months ago that I saw this one in the cinema. So this movie will probably be available for rent or on some streaming service near you any time soon, if not already. My advice is simple – watch it !
Nobody – Cast and Plot
The main character is Hutch “Nobody” Mansell played by the fantastic Bob Odenkirk (who played Breaking Bad’s best character Saul Goodman). Hutch is living a typical life of an average Joe with wife, kids and a routine job; but was clearly something else in a former life. It turns out he was a CIA operative. As was his father David, also a retired agent (FBI this time) who is played by Christopher Lloyd. As the story unravels we first hear from Hutch’s half-brother Harry Mansell, played by RZA (no, me neither!) – who is apparently a (c)rapper called Robert Fitzgerald Diggs. We finally meet him near the end of the movie.
The basic plot is that Hutch is clearly pissed off being Mr. Average. Especially after he is burgled and fails to attack the robbers despite seeing his teenage son having a go. He is trying his best to contain the inner beast. Fortunately for us that beast soon springs to life on a bus when a group of loudmouthed thugs threaten a lone young woman. Hutch is just bursting for it to happen. He manages to beat them up but not before taking some bad injuries himself. Still, he has regained his pride.
It turns out that one of the bus riding thugs is the younger brother of Yulian Kuznetsov, a notorious Russian crime lord. Aren’t they always? Brother or son? How many Russian mafia bosses have complete arseholes for brothers/sons who go around openly terrorising their local poor communities just tying to draw as much attention to themselves as possible? Well, you get the point… It’s all about setting up the totally absurd violence which follows. So crazy in fact it made me laugh and almost makes this seem like a ‘feel-good movie’. Think John Wick after his dog is killed, or any of the spaghetti westerns and you get the point.
Aleksei Serebryakov plays Kuznetsov brilliantly, including doing a couple of live songs at the mob’s own cabaret club. Things move quickly as Kuznetsov inevitably goes after Hutch. Realising the threat Hutch decides to send his family away to safety before burning his own house down to destroy any evidence. It turns out Hutch was an “auditor” who killed for the agencies and was considered untouchable. Them pesky Russian criminals had better watch out eh?
The rest, as you can probably guess, is non stop absurd violence and a body-count movie. Some people (understandably) will not like that but many will love it. I was one of the latter. So no spoiler alerts, just watch it all unfold….
Critique (and Soundtrack)
I thought this was just a good old retribution movie. It was so comic-book it can’t possibly be taken seriously despite the levels of violence and blood flow. I also happen to like Bob Odenkirk – ever since watching Breaking Bad – so it was great to see him get a fun part in a big screen movie.
The official soundtrack is made up of music by David Buckley, specifically composed for the movie, but there are also some great old tracks skilfully embedded into this story, including:
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Nina Simone
Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar
I’ve Gotta Be Me by Steven Lawrence
What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
And more… even a couple of Edwin Starr numbers…
Still on the soundtrack: I challenge anyone to watch the final bloodbath scene without smiling as Gerry and The Pacemakers version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone‘ plays along. It is a total body-count scene that sees father and his two sons doing battle with what is left of the Russian mafia gang. With a lot of help from some entertaining pre-prepared booby-traps. “When you walk through a storm” – indeed… Fantastic.
Another great use of an old classic is sung by Kuznetsov as a karaoke number – The Impossible Dream (by Andy Williams), or was it I’ve gotta be Me? Maybe both, I can’t recall. Great stuff though. Again it just sits well with the, by now, outrageous storyline and even more daring antics of Hutch.
I give this movie 4 stars (out of 5). All in all this was a thoroughly enjoyable film if you like gratuitous violence that is totally unrealistic (in that, ‘there’s no way he would survive all that!’ sort of way). An easy, don’t take too seriously, just sit back and watch film. Enjoy Odenkirk and Christopher Lloyd’s performances. And, when he finally appears on screen, RZA too.