Let’s talk about Nobody.

But before that, John Wick. I remember when the first one came out. I had just started reviewing films and decided to completely ignore it. After all, Keanu Reeves was a has been and the name sounded just bland. In my head, it was going to be straight to DVD film that had got a bigger budget than usual, hence the cinema release. I was very wrong. John Wick is now one of the greatest action film franchises of all time and it has influenced many of the action films we see today. Of course, it’s fair to be wary of the imitators. We are going to get bad attempts to be John Wick, that’s for sure. But is Nobody one of them?

Bob Odenkirk is just a normal family man, working 9 to 5 and going through the same repetitive rubbish we all do. However after he is robbed, he seeks revenge and ends up attracting the attention of the Russian mob. However, the Russian mob soon finds out they probably made a mistake seeking him out.

This is a massive rip off of John Wick. The plot is incredibly similar. I mean, a retired from action legend gets dragged back into the scene by cocky villains who soon realise they made a huge mistake doing so? That is so John Wick, and now it is so Nobody as well. John Wick goes on a revenge question after his dog is killed, the most reasonable revenge quest of all time, and Odenkirk’s Hutch goes on a revenge quest to get his daughter’s kitty cat bracelet back. As the posters say, this film has the same writer as John Wick and you get the feeling that he is going to end up being a one trick pony making the same film over and over again, even if the one trick that pony does is very good.

The action is right out of the same playbook as John Wick too, which is a very good thing. The action is brutal, the fights feel like they really hurt and The camerawork is relaxed enough to let us enjoy the fights we are seeing rather than killing us through a thousand jump cuts. It is bloody and some of the things which happen will make you flinch because honestly it’s just nasty, though that is the fun of it. Every action scene is absolutely brilliant because it’s just executed so well. I’m sorry I can’t go into much detail but there’s only so many ways to say the action is brutal and awesome! Well, I can add that I weirdly respect the action scenes more than I do with John Wick. Doing those long action scenes with minimal cuts with Keanu Reeves is on the face of it, fairly simple. Reeves is a legitimate badass who is capable in many martial arts, he knows kung-fu after all, so he is fully capable of acting out big action scenes without a stunt double. But Saul Goodman? Some how this film makes him into a legitimate action star! I know, how nuts is that?

The way this film marks itself as quite unique from John Wick is its sense of humour. John Wick takes itself incredibly seriously to a fault at times. This film does not do that. There’s a lot of great gags and it feels at times like an old fashioned action film. Bob Odenkirk is quipping aplenty like this is an 80s Schwarzenegger film, and damn it if they aren’t good quips. I particularly like him rubbing off the ‘286 days since a workplace accident’ sign during a particularly bloody gunfight. There’s also a nice reoccuring joke where every time Hutch starts to exposit about who he really is, the good he is expositing to dies of the previously inflicted wounds. That’s just clever screenwriting that, giving us dull but necessary information in a funny way. There’s also the madcap stuff that has to be seen to be believed, like Christopher Lloyd killing fools with a shotgun. Yes that happens.

The only real issue, other than the fact John Wick might be doing a revenge mission for the plagiarism, is that there’s a weird pacing issue towards the end. It really feels like there’s a missing scene in this movie between the middle part and the conclusion. It just feels odd as the movie seems to skip over a few steps to get to its conclusion. It’s not like this is a long film either, it clocks in at just over an hour and a half, so it’s not like a few more scenes just to get that pacing a bit better would have hurt things either. It’ll be interesting to see if there was anything cut from this part of the film when the DVD comes out.

Nobody is the first film since the cinemas reopened that I can say you must go to the movies to see. Yes, it feels a bit familiar. But it’s just so awesome. It has fantastic action scenes and makes the most unlikely of people into actual bad asses. It’s just a great laugh from start to finish due to the mixture of the old fashioned quips to the modern bone breaking fight scenes. The influence of John Wick on the action scene has so far brought us a lot of good films and I really hope it continues because I would quite like a few more Nobodys to watch.

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.