In 1990, “Home Alone” was released to the masses, with not one, not two, not three but four direct sequels (the second one is the only worth while watch) and two other films that I didn’t even know existed till I looked up “Home Alone” on Google. The tale of Kevin McCallister being forgotten at home during the Christmas holiday and subsequently defending his house from two house robbers is one I remember well from my childhood. It was a film that made me laugh, it was a film that made me wonder what it would be like to be Kevin in my real life. What kind of crazy contraptions would I cook up for the would-be robbers? Of course, as an adult I know how fantastical and most certainly how traumatic it would be to go through an ordeal like that. But what if Kevin grew up and became a hired gun for government agencies, who went around the world killing people for said governments, then decided one day he wanted to have a family and get out of the life? Well, he’d be Bob Odenkirk in the movie “Nobody,” the best film I’ve seen in a long while. What could have been a “John Wick” rip off turned out to be one of the most madcap, violently fun and funny movie of 2021.
“Nobody” makes great use of it’s 91 minute run time. Showing us the monotony of Odenkirk’s Hutch Mansell, a man who’s married with two children and works at his father-in-law’s factory (the father-in-law played by the great Michael Ironside). Of course, we know from trailers Odenkirk is a bad ass, but what the first act does with such finesse is plant things that pay off in such subtle, yet clever ways. Hutch is seen running every morning. We see him missing the garbage truck every week. We see him crunch numbers and we see the distance between him and his wife and kids. We see all of this in quick cuts and get a sense of Hutch and his very boring suburban life. Then one night, two people break into his house and take his daughter’s cat bracelet and the real Hutch is awakened once more. After confronting the two people that broke into his house, he comes in contact with five men on the bus, one of them being the brother of a Russian gangster. The bus fight scene is one of the best fight scenes I’ve seen in a movie since, well since “John Wick.” The movement, the choreography and the audio queues are perfect. The Russian gangster, hell bent on avenging his brother, sends everything at Hutch, not knowing who he’s dealing with.
Odenkirk is pitch perfect in this movie. He’s cold and calculating at times, warm and gentle at others. The rest of the cast is fantastic. Connie Nielsen plays Hutch’s wife Becca and plays the role in a very grounded and even fashion. Christopher Lloyd plays Hutch’s dad, a former CIA agent that lives in a retirement home. The RZA plays Hutch’s brother, who we first meet over an old transistor radio and is somewhat of a mentor character for Hutch who comes into the fold in real life at just the right time. This is more than anything a comedy thriller, and having a cast that includes Odenkirk, Lloyd and RZA just ups the ante that much more. The action sequences play out like jokes that are always paid off with a great punchline. There are gags in this movie that would be at home in any comedy movie. Then there’s the big “Home Alone” moment in the film, where much like Kevin in his parent’s home, Odenkirk’s Hansell rigs the factory that he works at with all sorts of violent traps that wreak havok on the Russian gang in satisfyingly violent ways. This really is one of the most entertaining movies I’ve seen just from how much it made me laugh. There’s almost a dead pan quality to it, which is no doubt aided by the great Bob Odenkirk.
“Nobody” is currently streaming on HBO Max. This is a must watch film and easily the best movie from 2021 that I am now watching in 2022.