Nobody officially qualifies John Wick as a genre. We’re going to need a snappy name for it but nonetheless it’s its own thing. Not that action films haven’t existed in the past of course, they just haven’t existed like this.
As exemplified in Nobody you feel every hit, every gunshot, you experience the brutality of every death. The hero gets hurt because he’s not some perfect, no-blood, PG-13 killing machine. It’s visceral but theatrical. Grounded in opera with enough realism to make things uncomfortable.
I like to imagine that someone watched Sin City (2006) and thought “let’s take this ultra-stylisation and then actually show it”. But as I said before this is now a genre of its own. Nobody owes a lot to John Wick. It’s firmly within that world but, to me, it actually manages to surpass John Wick.
I liked the motivations for the violence and the story behind it. The film avoids leaning on a gender or a minority. The characters are violent because they’re violent people. There’s no revenge at someone’s expense. Men in real life are often just violent and this film doesn’t hide behind some noble reason for them to act that way.
The way the movie unfolds is actually kind of like a Simpsons episode. There’s this one driving force at the start that gets everything moving. But then something distracting happens and the story leans into that instead and just forgets the initial story. The film plays out like a comedy more than an action film traditionally does.
If you’re looking for fun and a visceral release then don’t overlook this film. It’s a ton of fun and better than marketing told me it was. I was admittedly very hesitant to see the movie but was pleasantly surprised. Nobody is just really solid across the board. See it with an audience if you can.
Violent and fun: ★★★★
Written by Benjamin Boekelaar