Ilya Naishuller’s action thriller stars Bob Odenkirk as the “nobody” who is actually a somebody – a former assassin with a body count so deadly high that when his identity is revealed, the person who makes the discovery flees in terror.

John Wick vibes emanate from every corner of Nobody – hardly a coincidence. The 92-minute movie has been written by Derek Kolstad, who created the John Wick franchise. A retired killer who returns to the game over a trifling matter, laconic dialogue, moody lighting and elaborately choreographed action sequences. John Wick has been there and done it better.

Odenkirk, who became a television star for playing a crooked lawyer in the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, is Hutch Mansell. As bored as he is mild-mannered, Hutch relishes the chance to get back into murdering mode after a robbery attempt at his home.

There’s nothing like some bone-crunching to get the manly juices flowing and reconnect with his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen). By the time Hutch has crossed paths with the flamboyant Russian mobster Yulian (Aleksei Serebryakov), he is ripe and ready for Armageddon.

Channelling both Saul and every former movie mercenary who isn’t allowed the luxury of retirement, Bob Odenkirk gives the role his best shot. It’s also a long shot – Odenkirk strains every sinew of recently acquired muscle, but the real hero of this action drama is the unbidden and unending violence.

Groaning with numerous stereotyped Russians – who have replaced Arabs as arch-villains in Hollywood’s imagination – and anachronistic songs that are laid onto scenes of mayhem, the movie revels in its absurdist premise. But absurdity too is never far away.

Nobody (2021).