Review: Better call Odenkirk as bullets fly in action-packed 'Nobody'

"Better Call Saul's" Bob Odenkirk plays an everyman who busts heads in violent, bloody but fun action vehicle

Adam Graham
Detroit News Film Critic

In "Nobody," a high voltage action flick with serious torque, Bob Odenkirk plays a nobody who is revealed to be a somebody.

It's a great role for Odenkirk, whose everyman features allow him to blend into any room. Cast for years in strictly comic parts, it wasn't until he played seedy lawyer Saul Goodman in "Breaking Bad" (and later its spinoff, "Better Call Saul") that Odenkirk was able to fully display his range, and "Nobody" reframes the 58-year-old as a "John Wick"-style badass. He wears it well. 

Aleksandr Pal and Bob Odenkirk in "Nobody."

At the outset of "Nobody," Odenkirk's Hutch Mansell is an anonymous suburban schlub. An effective montage tells us what we need to know about him in a matter of seconds: he pushes a pencil at work, is late with his trash on garbage day and is half-acknowledged by his wife and teenage son. (At least his younger daughter rewards him with hugs.) 

When a break-in occurs at his house, he confronts the robbers and lets them go, even when one of them puts his son in harm's way. Why did he hold back? He's mocked by co-workers and his macho neighbor, but something inside him is triggered. Soon he's on a bus and goes into full vigilante mode, taking out a group of thugs who threaten an innocent female passenger. 

What begins as a riff on "Falling Down" — an average man is fed up and blows his top — becomes something more, and something more fun, as Hutch is revealed to be a long-dormant government asset, code name Nobody. And he's pitted against a ruthless Russian gangster (Alexey Serebryakov) with deep ties to the Russian mob. 

Gun shots, explosions and scenes with a shotgun-wielding Christopher Lloyd ensue. (Lloyd plays Hutch's father, David.) Director Ilya Naishuller, whose previous film was the insane first-person action ride "Hardcore Henry," stages several bang-up action scenes, including perhaps the best suburban home shoot-em-up since "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." And what could be routine winds up a surprisingly fun ride. "Nobody" earns its keep. 



Rated R: for strong violence and bloody images, language throughout and brief drug use

Running time: 91 minutes

In theaters