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Movie Review: I Didn't Hate 'Nobody'

Well, here we have a movie that’s pretty much a complete mess, that only has one or two elements that really work at all, that’s even rather distasteful, but that I still found… kind of watchable? I’m not sure what to do with this.


The movie is called Nobody, in which Bob Odenkirk plays a family man who appears to be stuck in a dead-end job. Although we also know from the opening that something is going to happen to him, as he’s sitting in a police interrogation room, bloodied and bruised, looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world. 


One night, Odenkirk’s house is robbed while his family sleeps, and though his son gets the drop on one of the intruders, Odenkirk lets the burglars go instead of doing them bodily harm. But this act of nonviolence is seen by just about everyone as an indication that Odenkirk is in fact the lowest form of humanity: a weakling. The movie seems to be playing this repugnant worldview as a joke, although maybe it’s not, and either way I’m giving it way too much credit for having an actual perspective, because it doesn’t.


No, Nobody is far more interested in jumping into a whole lot of violence, some of which is so brutal I had to turn away, some of which is far more cartoonish. Odenkirk, of course, has a secret, which is bad news for the bad guys. Although he mostly creates his own problems. It doesn’t matter. There’s no real tonal coherence, one scene doesn’t necessarily look like the next. And we don’t really know how to feel about any of it—not because it’s ambiguous, but because the movie itself doesn’t care. I’d say all it cares about is shooting a bunch of stuff, but it doesn’t even do that in a stylistically consistent way.


And still… I didn’t completely hate watching it. This is not something I’d typically enjoy on any level, but I guess the huge tone shifts actually helped—I could have a little fun with the ridiculous stuff and tune out when we swung back to the severe beatings. And I’ll give Odenkirk much of the credit, he kind of fits as a 60-year-old killing machine, which is not something this fan of his sketch comedy series Mr. Show ever expected.


So I don’t really know why I didn’t hate Nobody, but the fact that I didn’t must mean something. I think?

Fletcher Powell has worked at KMUW since 2009 as a producer, reporter, and host. He's been the host of All Things Considered since 2012 and KMUW's movie critic since 2016. Fletcher is a member of the Critics Choice Association.