Review by Camden Ferrell
Nobody sees the return of director Ilya Naishuller, whose most recent feature film was 2015’s Hardcore Henry. After numerous delays due to COVID-19, Naishuler’s return to cinema, is finally set to be released. While the handful of big action sequences are extremely energetic and well-executed, the rest of the film can feel muddled and somewhat bland.
After his home is broken into, Hutch, a husband and father, chooses not to defend himself or his kids, a decision that weakens his relationship with his family. However, in the aftermath of the robbery, his lethal skills are unleashed after a period of dormancy. Hutch finds himself on a brutal and bloody path that uncovers secrets about his past as he aims to protect his family from a Russian crime lord. It’s a simple premise that works really well in setting up some great conflict and fight scenes throughout.
The main problem with this film comes from its writing. The script was written by Derek Kolstad who is responsible for the excellent John Wick films. Those films have great action, but they still have great stories and dialogues to propel the non-action scenes. Nobody lacks the compelling narrative and dialogue to make the film interesting when bad guys aren’t being slaughtered, and that’s why the film drags far too often.
The acting is mostly enjoyable. Bob Odenkirk steps out of his comfort zone in order to play the lead in this action film. He does really well with the fight scenes and choreography, but he sometimes seems out his element in certain exchanges with other characters. The supporting cast is above average, including Christopher Lloyd and RZA who give energetic performances.
Arguably, one of the let downs of this film is how it pales in comparison to Naishuller’s previous film. Hardcore Henry was a film with non-stop blood, guns, and gore, and it was a really interesting POV film. His newest film isn’t quite as brutal, but it lacks the momentum that made his previous film so enjoyable.
The cinematography is very well-done, and it does a great job of making all the action cohesive. It captures everything clearly, and in the fight scenes, it makes sure to frame all of the brutal injuries properly. The editing in these scenes is also great, and it compliments the cinematography in a way that the action becomes very tangible.
While the action is amazing throughout, there aren’t nearly enough action scenes to carry the film. There’s a handful of big sequences, and they’re all super compelling, but the rest of the movie pales in comparison to it. Even if it has to be smaller encounters, the movie could have benefitted from a heavier dose of action to supplement its story.
Nobody may not be the next John Wick, but it still boasts some great action and an interesting turn from Odenkirk if nothing else. It shows that Naishuller hasn’t lost his touch for high-octane action, and it should be sufficient viewing for fans of mindless action.
Nobody will be in theaters March 26.