click to enlarge Bob Odenkirk in Nobody
Bob Odenkirk in Nobody

Nobody is bloody great fun

Having impressed as sleazeball lawyer Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk takes on an unexpected role – badass avenger. In Nobody, he's Hutch Mansell, a regular guy whose marriage has gone cold and who works at a job that bores him to tears. He has a teenage son and daughter he loves, his suburban home at the end of a cul-de-sac looking just like every other house in sight. However, a middle-of-the-night break-in throws his mundane existence into turmoil. When Hutch hesitates to take down the pair of trespassing thieves, his wife and son lose all respect for him, as do his neighbors, co-workers and anyone else who hears of his cowardice. Problem is, there's much more to Hutch than meets the eye.

During a long bus ride to clear his thoughts, he shows his true colors when he beats up a quartet of Russian thugs who threaten a young lady. Chaos ensues. Taking a page from A History of Violence, the film allows our hero to revert to his true self – a former government agent with a particular set of skills – through a series of inventive action scenes that are just as funny as they are exciting. As written by Derek Kolstad, who penned the John Wick movies, you know exactly what to expect, and that's fine. Brimming with pointed dark humor and clever plot twists, as directed by Ilya Naishuller, Nobody is a series of precisely choreographed action scenes that revels in its B-movie roots, Odenkirk providing a Charles Bronson-like turn that's surprising and entertaining as hell. Sequels are in the offing if this hits at the box office and I'm down for them, but only if Hutch ultimately crosses paths with John Wick himself. In Theaters.

Justice League re-do an intriguing, flawed epic

Zack Snyder's efforts to complete his version of the misguided 2017 Justice League, which he left in mid-production due to his daughter's suicide, had been ongoing for over two years. Dropping a litany of cryptic social media missives that hinted as to just what his unadulterated vision might have been, the filmmaker's massive fanbase bent Warner Brothers to their fanboy will, until the studio gave the director his wish - an additional $70 million and a new platform - HBO Max - on which to play it. Is this new, four-hour epic an improvement over the Snyder-Joss Wheadon hybrid released four years ago? Yes, as it contains more complete backstories regarding its lesser-known characters as well as a clearer plot which makes much more sense and feels less fragmented. Is it a perfect film? Far from it. This is a flawed feature that suffers from a sense of pretentiousness that borders on parody and an overindulgence where Snyder's grandiose plan is concerned, as he foreshadows future events with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, plot points that will likely never see the light of day.

Complete backstories for Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) give them a sense of motivation that was sorely lacking, creating characters we instantly sympathize with. Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot remain solid as Batman and Wonder Woman respectively, Jason Mamoa amply supplies the hunk factor as Aquaman, while Henry Cavill returns in all of his stilted glory as Superman. The story makes more sense this time around and is much more emotionally engaging. However, Snyder's melodramatic flair prevents the movie from being a complete success. Still, this new Justice League is worth a watch, flaws and all. Streaming on HBO Max.

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