Bob Odenkirk has been one of my comic idols for 30 years. His impersonation of Charles Manson on The Ben Stiller Show had me hooked, and his run on Mr. Show with partner-in-crime David Cross solidified him as one of my heroes.
It was a great pleasure to see him pop up on Breaking Bad in a pure dramatic role as sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman, and later on the spinoff Better Call Saul as Jimmy McGill (Saul’s real name). The guy should have a shelf full of Emmys for his work on that show.
Nobody, an ultra-violent thriller from writer Derek Kolstad (creator of John Wick) and director Ilya Naishuller, takes Odenkirk in a direction nobody could’ve seen coming. Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, a mild-mannered husband and father who has his house invaded by a couple of nervous crooks. The event ignites an old, buried aspect of Mansell’s personality—an aspect that results in deserving people losing their teeth and getting their tracheas crushed.
Hutch has an assassin’s past, and like a deprived vampire smelling blood or a heroin addict near a pile of drugs, he can’t resist the chance to dive back in. This results in a lot of John Wick-like badassery in which Odenkirk shows he has the chops to throw down. He trained hard for this movie, and it shows with every stunt. Kudos to the fight choreographers, and kudos to Odenkirk, who rises to the challenge in majestically bloody fashion.
The plot involves the Russian mob and gold bars, and while the setup is quite John Wick-like, this film has a different, more-grounded tone. Connie Nielsen is on hand as Hutch’s mysterious wife (she’s pretty darned good at patching up his wounds), and Christopher Lloyd has some of his best onscreen moments in years as Hutch’s also-mysterious dad.
Seeing Odenkirk breaking arms and performing emergency tracheotomies was one of the most surprisingly bizarre theater-going experiences I’ve had in the last decade. It was also a total blast. I doubt this is the start of an action-hero phase for Odenkirk … but who knows? Maybe he has himself a franchise now. I would certainly line up for Nobody: Chapter 2.
Nobody is now playing at Mary Pickford Is D’Place (36850 Pickfair St., Cathedral City) and Century La Quinta and XD (46800 Washington St., La Quinta).