Feldman @ the flicks

Nobody

Peter Feldman: Nobody is a violent, hard-hitting revenge yarn and serves as the perfect cocktail for adrenalin junkies.


Nobody
Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, Alexsei Serebryakov, Christopher Lloyd
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Classification: 16 DLV

Nobody is a violent, hard-hitting revenge yarn and serves as the perfect cocktail for adrenalin junkies.

While it may well follow a familiar theme, Russian director Ilya Naishuller adds some delicious touches of wry wit to Derek Kolstad’s rampaging script. There is blood and gore aplenty and the hand-to-hand combat scenes are masterfully orchestrated.

The narrative concerns Hutch Haskell, an average middle-American, law-abiding citizen. He is played by Bob Odenkirk, of Better Call Saul TV fame, who could pass for his remarkable resemblance to Kevin Costner.

Hutch is a mild-mannered family man with a loving wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) and two children. His laid-back demeanour belies his true nature, a once deadly government contract killer now retired, who works for his father-in-law (Michael Ironside).

The story takes a dramatic turn when his home is invaded by two black-clad, armed intruders one night while they are all at home. This act sets off a chain of explosive events that eventually lead to a mad confrontation with the Russian mafia and its psychopathic leader Yulian (Alexsei Serebryakov).

Violent scenes abound. There is an amazing, prolonged fight sequence staged in a parked bus between Hutch and five armed drunk men intent on killing him.

Granted, the far-fetched action reaches overkill proportions, but an appreciative aspect of the production is the Russian director’s fresh approach to violence, injected with a bold sense of imagination. There’s also an in-joke involving a black Russian gangster (Araya Mengesha) always being asked about the colour of his skin.

Connie Nielsen has very little to do as Becca because the focus is on Odenkirk who manages an excellent job in anchoring the movie with his sheer presence. Russian actor Alexsei Serebryakov makes an insanely menacing antagonist who will stop at nothing to kill his foe.

A surprising inclusion is Christopher Lloyd, of Back to the Future fame, as Hutch’s father who resides in a retirement home but still manages to pack a punch.

Nobody makes a somewhat bloody diversion and should have no trouble hitting its target audience.


Twitter: @petersdfeldman_
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Peter Feldman has been a journalist and arts critic for almost 50 years and served on The Star in various capacities for 35 years, ending up as a specialist writer on films, music and theatre. During that time, he travelled extensively on assignments and interviewed many international film and pop stars, both in South Africa and overseas. He also covered some of South Africa’s biggest film and musical events. He was one of only two South African journalists to be invited by Steven Spielberg to the Hook film junket in LA in 1991 where he interviewed the famous director as well as Dustin Hoffman and the late Robin Williams. He attended the gala James Bond premiere in London in 1981 and did an iconic interview in a Rolls Royce with Roger Moore who played Bond. He spent a week touring England with Queen prior to their Sun City visit in 1983, interviewed a host of international stars on films sets in Hollywood and London and was the first local journalist to nail an interview with The Rolling Stones prior to their SA visit in 1995. He is active in the freelance field and his work has appeared in a variety of South African newspapers and magazines, including Artslink.co.za. He has also worked on TV and radio (ChaiFM 101.9) in his specialist capacity. Over the years Feldman has been the recipient of several awards for his contribution to music journalism and the SA record industry. He is a recent recipient of the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz award in recognition for his long-standing journalistic support for the arts. He wrote lyrics for some top artists, including Sipho Mabuse, and had a hit disco single, “Video Games,” which was released in 1988. He coined the phrase “Local is Lekker”.