(director: Ilya Naishuller; screenwriter: Derek Kolstad; cinematographer: Pawel Pogorzelski; editors: William Yeh, Evan Schiff; music: David Buckley; cast: Bob Odenkirk (Hutch Mansell), Aleksey Serebryakov (Yulian Kuznetsov), Connie Nielsen (Becca Mansell), Christopher Lloyd (David Mansell), RZA (Harry Mansell), J.P. Manoux (Pentagon Darren), Humberly Gonzalez (Lupita Martin), Edsson Morales (Luis Martin), Gage Munroe (Blake Mansell), Stephanie Sy (Realtor), Kristen Harris (Detective), Michael Ironside (Eddie Williams), Colin Salmon (The Barber), Billy MacLellan (Charlie Williams); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Kelly McCormick, David Leitch, Braden Aftergood, Bob Odenkirk, Marc Provissiero; Universal; 2021)
“Made for box-office success and to give the undemanding viewers all the familiar thrills they never seem to tire of.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The Moscow-born, London-raised Ilya Naishuller (“Hardcore Henry”) directs this high-octane formula thriller. It’s a film closely resembling one of those John Wick fiery ones (it borrows much from those films). And why not since it’s written by Derek Kolstad, who wrote Keanu Reeves’s “John Wick” trilogy.
The fiftysomething, mild-mannered, regular guy Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk, former SNL writer and cult comedy star of “Mr. Show”), is the film’s so-called secretive Nobody. He’s living a quiet suburban life as a family man, married to the sweet Becca (Connie Nielsen), and his nuclear family consists of a teenage son Blake (Gage Munroe) and a younger daughter, Abby (Paisley Cadorath).
Hutch commutes by city bus to his accountant job at a machine shop run by his father-in-law Eddie (Michael Ironside).
One night a team of two masked burglars (Humberly González and Edsson Morales), one with a gun, break into the house. Hutch gives them cash and his watch, until Blake suddenly appears and jumps the armed man but Hutch declines to knock-out the woman with his golf club. His son thinks dad’s a coward for letting them get away. Word of his yellow streak spreads to his workplace, where his crude ex-army macho brother-in-law Charlie (Billy MacLellan), looks at him in a queasy way questioning his manhood.
We get an inkling that Hutch had a dark past, as he contacts his nursing home-bound dad (Christopher Lloyd) and the black musician Harry Mansell (RZA), a player in his old life, where he tells us “I used to be an auditor for some agency, the LAST guy you want to see.”
Because his daughter’s favorite bracelet was robbed and she’s upset, Hutch decides to go after the burglars to teach them a lesson while retrieving the stolen goods. From a tattoo he spotted on the thief, he tracks them down and retrieves his stuff. But pities them when he sees they have a child. They pay back his kindness by getting some thugs, led by Teddy Kuznetsov (Aleksandr Pal), to attack him on the bus he commutes on. When he gives them an ass-kicking, Teddy runs to his Russian gang lord brother, Yulian Kuznetsov (Alexey Serebryakov), who sends over all his boys to pay back Hutch.
No longer timid, Hutch confronts the bad Russians with some great fight moves and makes with a funny: “I hope these assholes like hospital food.”
It’s that kind of crowd-pleasing shallow film, made for box-office success and to give its undemanding viewers all the familiar thrills they never seem to tire of. The arch villain played by Aleksey Serebryakov is moderately effective, as is everything here if you don’t try to compare it to a better Scorsese thriller but keep it in check with the recent batch of pleasing Liam Neeson superficial commercial ones.
REVIEWED ON 4/1/2021 GRADE: B-