Nobody (2021)

Ilya Naishuller

Running Time: 92 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, Aleksei Serebryakov, RZA, Christopher Lloyd, Gage Munroe, Paisley Cadorath, Michael Ironside, Billy MacLellan, Colin Salmon, Araya Mengesha

Bursting onto the scene in 2016, Ilya Naishuller tried reinventing the action genre with his directorial debut, Hardcore Henry. The first-person point of view didn't catch on, and his follow-up sheds the gimmick to show itself off as a pulse-pounding treat to behold.

The standard set-up sees Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) trapped in a rut, as people constantly overlook and underestimate him. To prevent serious violence, he fails to stop a home-invasion, a choice which makes his family pull further away. Any worries this would become a tale about masculinity in crisis are averted, as the film instead takes the vein of John Wick. As it turns out, the suburban dad is a one-man army ready to unleash his simmering rage.  The inciting incident is a vicious scrap on a bus, as years of pent-up rage are let loose on a gang of Russian thugs in the film's phenomenal high-point.

Despite not being a first choice for an action star, Odenkirk absolutely convinces in the starring role. His excuse may be that he's protecting others, though one can feel Hutch revelling in this destructive path and enjoying stretching the old murderous muscles. Before the enemies can say Better Kill Saul, he's dispatching Russian goons with brutal efficiency in thrilling set-pieces, making for a fantastic ride to see how far he'll go.

His rampage catches the ire of a Russian mob boss played by Aleksei Serebryakov. Tasked with protecting Obshak money for the mob, his heart isn't in the job anymore, so becomes irate when the newly invigorated Hutch makes his life all the more difficult. He's a compelling antagonist from his magnificent entrance, showcasing his characters wanton choices and how he can turn violent with such efficiency.

Rounding off the cast are an underutilised Connie Nielsen, who acts as wife to Hutch and helps to sell their history. It's a shame she stays out of the action entirely, while RZA and Christopher Lloyd are granted such excellent moments amidst the messy finale. What's left is an excellent showcase for Naishuller's directorial talents, and a wonderful reinvention for Odenkirk as an action star.

Nobody is available to rent from Premium VoD services, and is still available in select cinemas.