Nobody

Nobody ★★★½

Nobody had me laughing quite a few times. Whether I was laughing with it or at it is hard to say; but it really depends on the intentions behind this film. There's a light touch to this film and some moments with genuine comedic intent, but it was in some of the more serious moments that I let out a laugh - that is, if those moments are meant to be serious. Nobody feels like a beat 'em up action movie with an unlikely protagonist, but for me there was a sly delivery which belied a fairly interesting commentary on modern masculinity.

Bob Odenkirk stars as Hutch Mansell, an office worker with a distant relationship with his wife (Connie Nielsen), and 2 kids. His life is monotonous and repetitive. One night, two burglars break into his home, where they threaten him with a gun, rob him and rough up his son, who tries to take on the robbers. Hutch does not fight back, much to his own shame and the collective finger-pointing of those around him. Hutch then makes the decision to seek retribution, which ultimately leads to a reveal that he is not who he appears to be - and also provokes the ire of the Russian mob (the red scare continues...).

As I mentioned prior, I really viewed Nobody as an allegory for masculinity, and the way in which we perceive it in modern society. When Hutch fails to physically defend his family, his family is clearly repulsed by his lack of vigour, and a police officer who attends the scene all but calls him a cuck. What follows is essentially an outpouring of a beta male retribution fantasy (at least, until we learn more about Hutch's background). In another scene, a Russian mobster (Aleksei Serebryakov, giving a fine performance) has his masculinity questioned after dancing in a flamboyant style, which propels him to viciously murder a bystander to the situation. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but I felt that the this commentary permeated the film in a tongue-in-cheek fashion which, for me, elevated the material.

Bob Odenkirk is initially laughable as Hutch, especially when he starts to get tough. What shocked me, however, is how seamlessly he transitions from a shlumpy everyman to an action star throughout this film's tight 90 minute runtime. The cringe-worthiness of his initial transition is overcome, and what results is Odenkirk proving himself to be a compelling film presence. The rest of the cast is fine, if under-served by material that really is focused on Hutch, but Christopher Lloyd seems to have a lot of fun as Hutch's father - and he's a joy to watch.

Nobody is an easy watch with some good fight choreography and an impressive lead performance. It's narrative is a little simplistic and doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but it's a fun watch. I may be giving the filmmakers too much credit regarding the film's messaging, but I choose to believe there's more than meets the eye here.

Also, did a mention that this film is 90 minutes? Really, what more can you ask for?

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