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Nobody First Reviews: A Bloody, Funny, Stylish Shot of Adrenaline

Critics say the Bob Odenkirk movie feels like the snarky cousin of John Wick, full of sly winks, memorable characters, and a healthy dose of outrageous action.

by | March 22, 2021 | Comments

From the creator of the John Wick franchise comes Ilya Naishuller’s Nobody, a similar action movie about a retired family man with a particular set of skills who goes up against the Russian mob. This one gives us comedic actor and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk as the unlikely lead, and according to most of the early reviews of the movie, it’s worth seeing for him alone. That and a ton of brutal action and a tone that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Here’s what critics are saying about Nobody:


Is Nobody a good time at the movies?

Nobody doesn’t take itself seriously and just wants the viewer to have fun and have a moment to tune out from the real world for a couple of hours.
– Jamie Broadnax, Black Girl Nerds

Is it a good movie? Not exactly. But its 90 minutes fly by, and it’s a canny vehicle for Odenkirk.
– Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Naishuller and Odenkirk prove to be a winning duo of entertaining chaos.
– Preston Barta, Fresh Fiction

An immensely entertaining experience… You’re in for a wild ride that never lets up.
– Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting


Will it satisfy action junkies?

Action-movie lovers get plenty to love, from an appearance from 1980s tough-guy actor Michael Ironside to well-crafted two-fisted affairs.
Brian Truitt, USA Today

Its approach to methodically crafted action will leave you cheering in your seat… This is an action film crafted by action fans with style, love, and the slyest of winks.
Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

Nobody doesn’t just exist in the action genre but adds to it.
Kate Sánchez, But Why Tho? A Geek Community

The combat, while not as flashily shot as the work of [John Wick directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch], is utilitarian enough to get the job done.
Kyle Pinion, ScreenRex


Nobody

(Photo by Allen Fraser/©Universal Pictures)

How violent is it?

[The bus scene is] one of those movie fights that just goes on and on, the violence moving from brutal to funny through sheer, absurd duration. It’s amazing.
A.A. Dowd, AV Club

The hyper-stylization and blood-letting are grounded by the gallows humor.
Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

Nobody simply doubles down on the genre’s most immoral implication, for unquestioningly equating manliness with brute violence.
Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine


How is Ilya Naishuller’s work as director?

With his second feature, Ilya Naishuller has grown as a filmmaker and truly has the potential to be one of the most exciting action directors working.
Sean Mulvihill, FanboyNation

[He] may be as far as you can get from a psychological realist… but he’s a born filmmaker.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Naishuller stages the action effectively (that bus sequence stands out), delivering visceral thrills even for those of us who are keeping our distance.
John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

Naishuller is quite good at directing action.
Chris Evangelista, Slashfilm


How does it look?

Pawel Pogorzelski’s cinematography is just fabulous in the film… Violence has never looked this beautiful.
Dewey Singleton, AwardsWatch

Midsommar and Hereditary cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski brings the same slick camera maneuvers that elevated those movies to dreamlike planes in service of pure entertainment.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Shout out to cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski, because stylistic flair becomes that much more important as narrative throughlines are straighter than arrows.
Matt Donato, What to Watch


Nobody

(Photo by Allen Fraser/©Universal Pictures)

How is Bob Odenkirk as an action hero?

He’s simply awesome and owns this movie.
Don Shanahan, Every Movie Has a Lesson

A credible Jekyll and Hyde act… It’s a blast seeing the actor in this kind of role, even if Nobody does vaguely play like the nihilistic cartoon version of a Vince Gilligan arc.
A.A. Dowd, AV Club

The Odenkirk-ness is really all there is… which is enough to keep things interesting, if not make them all that good.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

[This] may leave you longing to watch Better Call Saul and Odenkirk’s thorny performance as Saul Goodman, a truly piercing dramatization of frustration and failure.
Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

Odenkirk deserves way better.
Kyle Pinion, ScreenRex


Does anyone in the supporting cast stand out?

Christopher Lloyd is a special delight as Hutch’s shotgun-toting father.
Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

Christopher Lloyd renews his classic mad-science energy with a devious twist.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

An appearance by RZA as Hutch’s brother, whose own hidden talents aid Hutch in his quest for vengeance, also adds some comedic flair to this story.
Jamie Broadnax, Black Girl Nerds

Other than Odenkirk, they have little to work with and don’t leave an impression.
Chris Agar, ScreenRant


Nobody

(Photo by Allen Fraser/©Universal Pictures)

How is the villain?

With a fearsome magnetism that’s at once authentic and operatic… He’s like the Frankenstein’s monster of hard-partying hooligans.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

It all goes downhill once the villain, Yulian, is dropped into play.
Kyle Pinion, ScreenRex

One of the blandest movie villains in recent memory.
Chris Evangelista, Slashfilm

That Yulian fails to be compelling or intimidating contributes to the film’s overall low stakes.
Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting


What about the writing?

The plot of Nobody is, in a word, preposterous… It’s just a cardboard fable. But when the ultraviolence erupts, the movie pops.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

The plot is absurd and could fall apart easily when looking back on it… Is it trying to say anything? Not really. This is as slight as it gets.
Aaron Neuwirth, We Live Entertainment

There’s some unwise and unnecessary narration early on, but the already slim exposition is tidily delivered in oft-comedic ways.
Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

Nobody seems to think that if it follows a paint-by-numbers Wick formula, that’ll be enough. It’s not.
Chris Evangelista, Slashfilm

The story lacks the emotional impact for the film to truly connect with viewers.
Chris Agar, ScreenRant


Nobody

(Photo by Allen Fraser/©Universal Pictures)

Is the movie funny?

The film also happens to be a masterclass in sardonic humor.
Sean Mulvihill, FanboyNation

This isn’t a parody, but it offers sly humor on many levels…[and] a couple of well-timed visual gags.
Brian Truitt, USA Today

I was hoping for more comic relief lines.
Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies


Is it trying too hard to be John Wick?

Kolstad’s script takes a similar idea but finds the different wrinkles to… create a unique film in the similar mold.
Sean Mulvihill, FanboyNation

Like Kolstad’s John Wick, but it makes its own way with more humor and charisma than the more silent and gritty counterparts.
Kate Sánchez, But Why Tho? A Geek Community

You could call Nobody Wickian… In philosophy, however, we’re stuck in Death Wish territory.
A.A. Dowd, AV Club

If John Wick is Buster Keaton, Hutch is Harold Lloyd.
Aaron Neuwirth, We Live Entertainment

The influence is unmistakable to the point where it keeps Nobody from fully creating its own identity.
Joshua Starnes, VitalThrills.com


Nobody

(Photo by Allen Fraser/©Universal Pictures)

Should it get its own franchise?

Move over John Wick and make way for Hutch Mansell.
Dewey Singleton, AwardsWatch

[It] leaves you eager to follow the Mansells on any blood splatter-filled journey.
Meagan Navarro, Bloody Disgusting

Nobody features an instantly iconic action trio that I’d never imagine in a million a years. Now I want spinoffs and sequels with these characters.
Sean Mulvihill, FanboyNation

The worst thing you can say about it is this: It’s satisfying enough that it could spawn sequels, possibly distracting its star from the plum dramatic roles he deserves.
John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter


Nobody releases in theaters on March 26, 2021.

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