If you spotted Hutch Mansell on a street corner or in the supermarket, you wouldn’t instantly flinch away and look to protect your children. In fact, you might stop and ask this sad-sack looking guy if he needed directions or maybe offer him a hand with his cumbersome load of groceries.
For that matter, you might not even notice him at all.
Truth be told, Hutch doesn’t look cool or tough. He looks like an average milquetoast sorta guy who takes life’s indignities on the chin and never complains. And that’s exactly who he is. He works a boring job and lives a life of boring routines.Hutch loves his wife and two kids, to be sure. But other than his cute and loving little daughter, Abby, even his own family members tend to ignore him, treating him as the unexciting nobody that he is.
The thing is, Hutch’s life wasn’t always so boring. If anything, there was a point when his life was far too exciting. As a younger man, Hutch used to work as a very special associate for all those special government agencies with three-letter acronyms.
Hutch was secretly called an “auditor.” No, he didn’t come in and check the books. He was an auditor, as in “the last person you want to see at your door.” If you did see him, all your books were about to be closed … permanently.
That side of Hutch, however, has been purposely sealed away. He doesn’t want to remember or revisit any part of it. In fact, when two thugs break into his house one night, Hutch even goes to extremes not to stop them or elevate the risk to his family. And he’s quietly shamed by the police and by his own family members for making that choice.
After it’s all done though, Hutch finds out that along with the money and other items the crooks stole, they also took his little Abby’s beloved KittyCat bracelet.
That little plastic bracelet pushes him just a bit too far.
You don’t steal a little girl’s KittyCat bracelet. It’s not done! And if you do, you might find that a certain nobody—an unnoticable guy with years of pent-up, long-simmering rage— could show up at your door. And he might be the last person you’ll ever want to see.
Once Hutch lets his rage and anger spill over, it causes exactly what he was afraid of and puts his family in deeper danger. And Hutch must go to greater extremes to protect those he loves. Much of what comes next is far from positive, but Hutch’s family members do come to understand that he will put anything on the line to protect them.
We also find out that Hutch purposely pulled himself out of his brutal lifestyle to begin with because he saw one man successfully do so and start a family. A simple life with a loving family becomes Hutch’s dream, as well. That motivates Hutch to tell his wife that he owes her everything for choosing to be with him.
Hutch notes that, “they say God doesn’t close one door without opening another.” And then he notices a particular violent opportunity and says, “Please God, open that door.”
Hutch compares someone to a Buddha.
Hutch tells his wife that their sex life has all but disappered and that he misses her. And though we don’t see them together sexually, she does lower her physical and emotional barriers toward Hutch.
A federal agent is blackmailed for his fetish activities. We see pictures of him in a bondage situation: He’s dressed only in his underwear and a dominatrix is dressed in a bustier and stockings (with a bare backside). A teen girl is approached by men who intend to molest her, but they’re stopped before they can.
The pummeling and slashing violence here is constant and cringeworthy. It ranges from a teen boy being wrestled down and punched in the face and an innocent girl being manhandled by drunken men to scores of people being impaled and eviscerated and left in pools of their own goop.
In one extended scene, for instance, an angry Hutch faces off with five large men in a bus. He is beaten, stabbed with a shiv and thrown through a glass window. And in turn, he slams heads onto metal bars, knocks out teeth, slices open someone’s wrist, rips, tears and kicks at the men with deadly fury. Hutch crushes the windpipe of one man with a metal bar and then slices open a hole in his neck so the man can breathe.
That’s just one example of the visceral and bloody scenes in the movie. Throats are sliced with broken glass; arms, noses and fingers are snapped; people are beaten with pipes and chairs and impaled with large chunks of rebar. Men are shot with execution-style blasts to the head. Shotguns and automatic weapons riddle men with bullets and shot. And explosions send some thumping into walls and vehicles. Vehicles crash, flip and crumple, leaving occupants bleeding and impaled.
A house is purposely set on fire, consuming the bodies inside. A different room filled with valuable items is doused with gasoline and set ablaze. Gore spatters walls and floors frequently. One man is hit by the blast of a Claymore mine and his face and upper body is turned into a soupy mess.
Forty f-words and nearly 10 s-words join several uses each of the words “h—,” “b–ch” and “a–hole.” God’s name is combined with “d–n” a half-dozen times.
Hutch and his wife drink wine with dinner. As Hutch’s former self becomes more prominent, he starts drinking glasses of hard alcohol. A Russian mob kingpin owns a club that’s generally packed with heavy drinking partiers. The kingpin smokes and guzzles booze regularly, and we see him snort cocaine, too.
A group of drunken men crash their car and pile onto a bus with open bottles of booze in hand.
Hutch steals a neighbor’s car, and he uses an expired badge to impersonate an FBI officer. A man crudely blows the contents of his nose out on the floor.
The popular John Wick films feature a tough-looking guy with a certain set of skills who comes roaring back from “early retirement” to take on bad guys with bloody aplomb. The newly released Nobody takes that slaughterhouse Wickian formula and makes it its own. Only this time, we get an average-looking, well, nobody who’s coaxed to unleash his (skull-) Kraken-rage.
Lead Bob Odenkirk delivers those bone-breaking duties with a likeable blend of sad-sack incongruity and strenuous knuckle-bloodying. The film is well choreographed and paced. And the stand-up-for-my-family storyline draws viewers in enough to elicit more than a few fist pumps.
Only problem is, this is also an incredibly foul film. You will like the put-upon Hutch Mansell and want him to win. But the exceedingly profane language and percussive pummeling batters you as roughly as the hero pounds Russian street thugs. And the blood geyser carnage in that mix will make you wince to the point of living with a ready-for-the-next-gory-gush squint through two-thirds of the movie.
Sure, by the end of this pic your senses will likely be beaten down and dulled to the brutal horrors you’ve been steeped in. But the question remains: what have your senses ever done to you?
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.