Pop Culture

Reviews For The Uneasily Quarantined:

Title: Nobody

Describe This Movie In One Mr. Show Quote:

MARK: Shut up, honey! I have to live with this and you have to support me!

Brief Plot Synopsis: Mr. McGee, don't make Mr. Mansell angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

Rating Using Random Objects Relevant To The Film:  4 games of Mouse Trap out of 5.

Tagline: "Never underestimate a nobody."

Better Tagline: "Better [Not] Call [911]."

Not So Brief Plot Synopsis: Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) lives a life of quiet sameness (that honestly seems pretty satisfying right about now). It's just too bad his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) seems to feel more pity for him than love, his son son doesn’t respect him, and his dad David (Christopher Lloyd) is stuck in a lousy nursing home. But after an embarrassing home invasion, Hutch finds himself on a collision course with a vicious Russian drug lord (Aleksei Serebryakov).

"Critical" Analysis:
 If you were asked to list actors least likely to head up their own action movie, Bob Odenkirk would have to be near if not the top of the list, than at least the upper quadrant. Odenkirk, formerly of SNL and Mr. Show with Bob and David and currently of Better Call Saul, was known more for writing the Matt Foley sketch and Senator Tankerbell than bad-assery.

Patton Oswalt, maybe.

The casting is about the only surprising thing about Nobody, which was written by John Wick creator Derek Kolstad. Instead of a dead puppy, you've got a [clears throat] GODDAMN KITTY-CAT BRACELET, Mansell isn't an ex-assassin, he's an ex-"auditor" (which, admittedly, is the military version), and instead of a Russian mobster with a scumbag son, you've got ... oh wait, that's the same.

As an aside, there's a kind of comfort having the Russians back as frequent movie bad guys. Studios floundered around so much after the Cold War, and Islamic terrorists have kind of run their course. It's nice to return to the classics.

Nobody is directed by Ilya Naishuller, whom you may remember (but probably don't) from 2015's Hardcore Henry. His latest effort finds him thankfully toning down some of his more nauseating shot choices, though an early rapid-cut montage of Hutch's boring-ass life and a handful of other scenes betray early sensibilities.

Kolstad probably kept those in check by carrying around a poster board displaying John Wick's box office grosses and periodically flashing it at him.

They've assembled quite a banger of a cast: Nielsen, Lloyd, Michael Ironside (as Becca's dad), Brosnan-era 007 mainstay Colin Salmon, and RZA (mostly offscreen as Mansell's half-brother). Refreshingly, everyone (though Nielsen is somewhat inert following her adventures in Zack Snyder's Justice League) is aware of what they've signed up for.

Which is what, exactly? Why, more of the cranial perforations and creative ultraviolence we'd expect from the guy who gave us killing a dude with a "fucking pencil." Mansell is more creatively homicidal than Wick's reliance on firearms, and the final showdown is a pretty great, with enough lethal gadgets to make a psychopathic Rube Golderg* proud.

As a perfect killing machine, Odenkirk is ... satisfactory. It's always entertaining to watch the old dudes (at 58, Odenkirk is only two years senior to Keanu himself) kick some ass in brutally choreographed fashion. And no one utters an annoyed "motherfucker!" like him. Nobody is wholly ridiculous, yet delightfully cathartic.

Nobody is in select theaters now.
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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar