Odenkirk and Naishuller make the best action film of the year so far.
Nobody, ironically enough, seems to have appeared out of nowhere. After creating buzz at select film festivals earlier this year, it managed to catch on and become quite the sleeper hit. Maybe that is helped by the recent re-opening of cinemas in some countries and the fact that some people will go and see anything right now, but it also helps that Nobody is just great fun.
Directed by Ilya Naishuller, who made a name for himself in 2015 with the POV action film Hardcore Henry (a rather underrated film in my opinion) and written by Derek Kolstad, Nobody is a high-energy action film starring Bob Odenkirk, a man no doubt best known for his extended performance as Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and spin-off Better Call Saul. Whilst the film is lacking in originality (the entire film feels like a gentle reworking of John Wick, also written by Kolstad, which seems odd yet still works), it at least tries to nudge itself into new territories, especially with the comic parts such as the Kitty-Cat bracelet and Christopher Lloyd’s character. It is those specific flairs that make the film much more fun and memorable.
This may sound negative, but it’s worth clarifying that the film is genuinely great fun. What it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in Odenkirk’s leading performance, Pawel Pogorzelski’s cinematography (unsurprisingly given his previous work with Ari Aster’s last two features Hereditary and Midsommar) and those incredible action set pieces, especially the finale. The film boasts very sturdy and classy action filmmaking but is not afraid to take its time at points to develop the characters more, which is a welcome change of pace for action films. Nobody can certainly provide evidence for the influence John Wick has had within contemporary action, and it shows no sign of stopping. In fact, maintaining its similarity to the first Wick film, Nobody has the potential to function as something more – it isn’t necessary, but it may be nice – as this first film feels like planting the seeds to something bigger. There are plenty of interesting questions about the characters that could be explored, with much of their past and their world left open for the audience.
If you need a popcorn film to return to the cinemas with, Nobody should be right at the top of your list. The action is exquisite, the script is great fun and the performances, dramatically and physically, are surprisingly great. Book a ticket, bring some friends and have a great time watching Bob Odenkirk brutally murder huge groups of people who have wronged him!
Nobody, distributed by Universal Pictures, is in cinemas now, certificate 15. Watch the trailer below: