Bob Odenkirk doesn't miss a beat in Ilya Naishuller fun, dumb and thoroughly daft vigilante thriller.
Odenkirk, who will forever be oily lawyer Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, plays Hutch Mansell and we meet him where we left Henry Hill in Goodfellas - he’s an average nobody, living his life like a snuck. He’s locked in a groundhog grind of a job and a loveless marriage and when Hutch, all stunted masculinity and suburban torpor, fails to take on a couple of burglars who break into the family home, no one is too surprised.
His teenage son loses what little respect he has for him and his wife (Connie Nielsen) freezes him out. But Hutch is a man who’s long suppressed his, well, particular set of skills and, ego suitably crushed, one night he decides to get even.
It leads to a chain of very violent events that will see him pitted against an almost cartoonishly evil, karaoke-singing Russian mob boss, played with relish by a leather and snake-skin clad Aleksey Serebryakov, who has a seemingly endless supply of henchmen and not just a terrible taste in music.
The comparisons with the successful John Wick franchise are glaring (the script is by Wick writer Derek Kolstad) but this salty and ultraviolent actioner goes deeper into the realms of absurdity and unlikely badass Odenkirk is clearly having a riot in the role.
Hutch’s redemption comes in a baptism of blood and crunching bones and at least one of the many superbly choreographed fight scenes here nods to Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises. You may also be reminded of A History of Violence and even Arnie’s spy caper True Lies. And could there be a touch of Walter White in Hutch's transformation from downtrodden wimp to MacGyver-like resourcefulness and Neeson-like deadliness?
Odenkirk has a quiet charisma and a talent for mordant one-liners, Christopher Llyod has great fun as Hutch’s shotgun-packing father, who’s just waiting for the right excuse to bust out of his retirement home, and a bluntly ironic use of music (you may never listen to Gerry and The Pacemakers the same way again) propels it all along in a merry dance of relentless action and wisecracks.
It has all the subtlety of a first-person shooter game but as cinemas reopen, Nobody could be the adrenalin jolt of mindless entertainment you need.
Alan Corr @CorrAlan2
Nobody is in cinemas from Wednesday, June 9