CULTURE TRUMPET – REVIEW – Nobody

Two weeks ago I was walking to work in the city centre, and as I walked past the Odeon, I saw the poster – the first piece of marketing I had seen – for Nobody. After then watching 10 seconds of the trailer, and knowing that it came from Derek Kolstad, the writer of John Wick, I had my excuse to be back in the cinema.

As I hadn’t heard much about the film, and hadn’t watched a trailer in full, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew there would be John Wick-esque action but imagined it wouldn’t be on the same level as the iconic Keanu Reeves flicks. I was very pleasantly surprised when the first fight scene commenced. Going into this film cold only benefitted my experience and actually helped me to enjoy it more, as I didn’t know people like Christopher Lloyd and RZA were in it, and being a fan of both Back to the Future and The Wu Tang Clan, it was great to see them pop up.

Although Nobody does have similarities to John Wick, it manages to craft its own identity and be a standout film. The story follows Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) as he tries to satisfy his hunger for vengeance following a home intrusion, drawing skills he learnt in his past career working for the intelligence agencies as an “auditor”. Details of his past remain vague, apart from a brief few words by Hutch explaining how essentially he was the last line of making sure the bad guys stayed quiet (by killing them), but the mystery adds so much to his characters story, and it’s fun to see peoples’ reaction throughout the film when people learn of what he has done in his past, or realise who he is. This aspect of the film helps add mystique to Odenkirk’s character but isn’t overused, as it easily could have been. Also, the way he takes a beating in the first fight scene, and doesn’t just immediately incapacitate everybody straight away, is a nice touch as it shows he’s a bit rusty after being out of the game for a few years.

The character of Hutch Mansell is an intriguing idea – a lethal government hitman, the best in the world at what he does, with everybody who knows his capabilities terrified of him, coupled with being a middle-aged dad who works 9-5 and forgets to take the bin out every week, dressed in pretty much the same, typical middle American dad outfit throughout the whole film, makes for some great light-hearted moments between the carnage.

Another excellent aspect of the film is the sound design and the soundtrack – the sound effects compliment the fight scenes extremely well, as you’d expect, but the choice of songs that accompany the action add to the off-beat tone of the film perfectly.

Despite the hour and a half runtime, it doesn’t feel rushed and you feel fully satisfied by the end.

Not watching the trailer is something that I might do again for films in the future, as it allows the viewer to be fully immersed in the film, without wondering when a certain scene from the trailer will happen or when a certain person who appeared in the trailer will show up. Some trailers cannot be avoided, such as those for the major blockbusters, Marvel movies etc, but for films like Nobody, it is something that will make the film more enjoyable and enhance your experience of watching it.

Nobody should be seen by everybody.

Movie: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



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