‘Nobody’ Turns Bob Odenkirk Into An Action Star

Posted by Nicolás Delgadillo in Culture on March 25, 2021

From the creator of John Wick comes a new brutally fun action franchise that gives Bob Odenkirk the chance to show off his particular set of skills

Bob Odenkirk has conquered everything from sketch comedy like his HBO series Mr. Show to acclaimed television dramas like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. He’s produced, written and directed movies and shows as well, but the realm of big stunts and gritty action is uncharted territory. 

Thankfully, Odenkirk is more than up for the challenge, undergoing intensive training for over 2 years to prepare for his role in the newest action flick, Nobody. The film showcases the actor cracking skulls and taking names, all while still maintaining his charming wit that’s made him such a beloved talent to begin with. At 58 years old, that’s no easy feat, putting Odenkirk in the company of other middle-aged action heroes like Liam Neeson and Keanu Reeves.

Bob Odenkirk stars in ‘Nobody’
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Nobody follows Hutch Mansell (Odenkirk), a father and husband who lives his increasingly dull and monotonous suburban life without much complaint. Every day feels like the same routine, and Hutch often suffers little indignities both at home and at work that have worn his marriage to his wife, Becca (Connie Nielsen), thin and led to his teenage son, Blake (Gage Munroe), barely respecting him. 

Things start to change when the Mansell family is visited by a pair of desperate home invaders one evening. Hutch, not wanting any further trouble, allows the thieves to take whatever they’d like and refuses to act even when he has the perfect opportunity to stop them. As his family drifts even further away from him after the incident, a part of Hutch that’s been long since buried reawakens, sending him on a vengeful and violent journey that winds up putting him in the crosshairs of a powerful Russian mob boss (Aleksey Serebryakov).

The film is written by Derek Kolstad, who penned all three John Wick movies and has written upcoming episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. There are obvious similarities between Nobody and the John Wick franchise – like the classic setup of an average guy with a dark past going back to his old ways – but unlike Wick’s graceful and hypotonic action sequences, Nobody’s fight scenes are far less clean and more down-in-the-dirt. Some moments are downright brutal, like a scene where Hutch brawls with a group of lowlifes on a cramped public bus, but the film avoids ever becoming too self-serious by amplifying how much fun all of the carnage can be. A killer soundtrack certainly helps matters too. 

Bob Odenkirk takes on the Russian mob in ‘Nobody’
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Director Ilya Naishuller made his distinct mark on the action genre with 2015’s criminally underrated Hardcore Henry, and he brings that same kind of chaotic excitement to Nobody. Odenkirk also is a far more believably fallible action star; he never comes across as an unstoppable killing machine like other franchise heroes, but he is still perfectly capable of kicking unholy amounts of ass in a variety of ways. 

Nobody can feel like it loses a bit of its more interesting ideas as the heart-pumping action takes over completely, but that action is about as entertaining as it gets. Legendary actor Christopher Lloyd also shows up to kill some baddies as well, and it’s a must-see just for that.

Nobody is only in theaters March 26th.