Nobody

Written by Alexander Reams

80/100

Nobody is the second directorial effort from Ilya Naishuller after his 2015 film Hardcore Henry. The film follows a “nobody” by the name of Hutch Mansell, portrayed by Bob Odenkrik. The film has drawn many comparisons to the John Wick franchise, with good reason. The story is very similar, a man with a simple life being pulled back into the world he left behind. Both films have great action sequences, an older mentor who reveals a side of them that is not seen often, Willem Dafoe in John Wick and Christopher Lloyd in Nobody. As well as a Russian villain who you always want to see more of. 

Bob Odenkirk is most known for his work in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Neither of which are action roles. Despite this, he shows off his versatility as an actor by committing fully to the role and clearly see him doing a lot of the stunts throughout the film. A particular scene in a bus is probably the best composed scene of the film in terms of editing, sound, stunt coordinator, and cinematography all working together perfectly in a scene that rivals the best hand-to-hand combat scene in the John Wick franchise, specifically Chapter 3: Parabellum.

Who knew the world needed Christopher Lloyd with a smattering of shotguns wrapped around him, I didn’t, but I am very glad that now exists. Lloyd and RZA provide some much needed levity to a film that without it, could be very droll and null you to sleep unless there are loud noises happening on screen. My issues with the film are few but still should be addressed. This film is inevitably going to be compared to John Wick, and that unfortunately works against the film in the long run. Nobody is basically a carbon copy of John Wick which means the only new ground that can be trekked upon is how the filmmaker approaches making the film. Thankfully, despite this issue, Naishuller approaches this with a more frenetic, caffeine fueled madness that the former film did not. Despite being a carbon copy, Nobody is a really fun time and I look forward to the future of this universe.

Nobody Trailer

Nobody is currently available on most major VOD platforms.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

Long Shot

Written by Michael Clawson

70/100

Voting in favor of this one. Gets away with making Fred (Fred Flarsky that is, what a name) both a mildly schlubby pothead constantly in the same athleisurewear (which becomes a joke in itself) and a principled journalist with a flair for speech-writing, because Rogen evenly puffs life into both sides of the character. Early stages of the relationship are sweet and pleasant because they’re more platonic than romantic; intimations of stronger feelings are wisely put off until the end of the globetrotting portion, most of which is free of real conflict and instead concentrated on Fred and Charlotte simply becoming good friends. The soundtrack is just right in that stretch, with gentle but upbeat tunes (The Cure’s “Close to Me” is the first that comes to mind) playing quietly below the dialogue, never too emotionally emphatic. 

Laughs come at an impressively regular cadence, the highlights being small-scale quips and gags (e.g. Fred’s half-complete swastika tattoo becoming a stick figure dubbed “Adolf Stickler”, Jackson’s character revealing he’s a Republican: “I’m in the GOP…yeah you know me”, Fred’s astonishment at Charlotte asking for rough sex). The broader, physical bits – Fred diving out a window to escape neo-nazis, falling down the stairs after telling off a corrupt media tycoon, Fred and Charlotte together fleeing from a hotel under siege – feel a tad lazier, but still earned chuckles. Super fun to see Theron be so goofy, ducking behind aides to scarf a chicken skewer or managing a hostage crisis while high on molly. No complaints about the film championing integrity and humorously deriding how women are expected to present themselves in the public eye, but the script needed a much sharper pen for those aspects to culminate in any emotional way. As is though, a perfectly diverting rom-com.

Long Shot Trailer

Long Shot is currently available to rent on major VOD platforms.