Bob Odenkirk transforms into an action hero in Ilya Naishuller’s Daddy vs Gangster Saga.
Surprise gamer Bob Odenkirk enters middle-aged action hero game in No one, John Wick-y of Ilya Naishuller takes the image of protecting my family. Take yourself much less seriously than the Taken series and its predecessors, it’s a wish-fulfillment game that’s just as ridiculous as any of them, but more fun than most. Just self-aware enough to allow an insightful action fan to forgive his extremes (including some RED– like the geezers-with-guns mayhem towards the end), the worst thing you can say about it is this: it’s satisfying enough that it can spawn sequels, perhaps distracting its star from the roles. plum dramas he deserves after his brilliant work on You better call Saul.
Hutch Mansell from Odenkirk enters the film into an interrogation room, covered in scrapes and blood, carrying a few items that most people couldn’t squeeze into a police station. A detective asks who he is, and he says “nobody”.
The film verifies it with flashbacks that run through Hutch’s daily life, the ritual of suburban failure each morning leading up to a desk where he looks at a spreadsheet. Hutch is no one, okay, and his wife Becca (Connie Nielsen) doesn’t even seem to see him anymore, except when he fails to put the trash on the sidewalk in time.
Then burglars break into the Mansells’ house one evening, not realizing that they will only earn a few dollars for their efforts. Hutch has the opportunity to save the day with violence, but opts for peace, hiding himself in the eyes of his son and wife.
In a subsequent conversation with a friend (RZA) who may be imaginary, Hutch raises questions as to why he didn’t reverse an intruder’s blockage with his elevated golf club: How would this schlub know he weren’t there any bullets in his gun? What is it largely formed by the most elite government secret forces ?!
It turns out yes. And what pulls him out of retirement is the kind of touch that makes you think, “Wait, was this movie written by the guy who introduced us to poor John Wick dog?” Once again: Hutch is ready to let these burglars go on with their lives until he realizes that, in their haste, they have taken his daughter’s kitty bracelet. Watch out, the bad guys.
No one only hints at Hutch’s past as his story unfolds. In a tattoo shop full of tough guys who are about to tear him apart, a playing cards tattoo is seen on his wrist, mumbles “thank you for your service”, and locks himself in a secure room, leaving his pals s ‘take care of the stranger. But his action tells us a lot about who he has become: his family life makes him subject to acts of mercy; but he also prays that his adversaries do not take him. And in face-to-face situations, like a confrontation with five average 20somethings on a public bus, he’ll be happy to make the odds worse just to prove to himself that fatherhood hasn’t made him limp.
It’s not a parody, but it does offer devious humor on many levels. There are some visual gags at the right time, which I won’t spoil; lots of ironically selected pop classics on the soundtrack; and a colorful Russian gangster named Yulian “a connected and funded sociopath” played by Alexey Serebryakov who works the crowd without leading the many killers who descend on Hutch in the second half.
And of course there is the cast of Odenkirk, who before You better call Saul was best known for comedy, and which, even bringing together an emotional ferocity, is not physically imposing. Once or twice fans of his work with David Cross might find themselves on a mental tangent: when Hutch sends his family to safety, for example by promising Becca that he’ll explain everything later, you can almost see the fun. Mr. Show would have with these tropes.
None of this is to say that Odenkirk isn’t selling the chaos of the Hutch ditches. It does this surprisingly well. And Naishuller stages the action effectively (this bus sequence stands out), providing visceral sensations even for those of us who keep our distance, reminding us of how absurd, if not politically, films like this are. problematic. Fortunately, No one makes it easy to tell that part of the brain to shut up for a while and have fun.
Production Companies: 87North, Eighty Two Films, Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Interpretation: Bob Odenkirk, Connie Nielsen, RZA, Alexey Serebryakov, Christopher Lloyd
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Writer: Derek Kolstad
Producers: Kelly McCormick, David Leitch, Braden Aftergood, Bob Odenkirk, Marc Provissiero
Executive Producers: Derek Kolstad, Marc S. Fischer, Tobey Maguire
Director of Photography: Pawel Pogorzelski
Production designer: Roger Fires
Costume designer: Patricia J. Henderson
Editors: William Yeh, Evan Schiff
Composer: David Buckley
Casting directors: Mary Vernieu, Lindsay Graham
R, 91 minutes
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