Quick Reviews: 'Nobody' | 'Spiral: From The Book Of Saw'
Next stop: Beatdown street. Everyone's favourite Goodman, Bob Odenkirk, takes a swift career turn and turns into a bad man in the action thriller Nobody from director Ilya Naishuller and some of the creatives behind the 'John Wick' franchise, including writer Derek Kolstad. Odenkirk's character Hutch Mansell is currently a suburban husband, dad and 9-to-5-guy, formerly something called ''auditor'' which he vaguely describes as ''the last guy you want to show up at your door'' as we later find out. Skills from that job come calling back out of necessity after Russian mob puts a marker on him, following a bloody fight in a bus which leaves the son of influential mob boss Yulian (Alexey Serebryakov) badly injured by Hutch.
You can probably connect the dots by yourself in regards to the filmmakers and premise as the film isn't certainly scoring points with its originality, or with its casting choice of Odenkirk in the leading role. Stylistically it however stands out from the pack, the stunt choreography and fights (much like 'John Wick') leading that charge as it's suitable for the character but all of it is also very polished. Nobody takes itself less seriously but it isn't afraid to make its main character feel vulnerable in those action scenes, Hutch is a bit rusty after all the calm family life and takes some hard hits until he gets back to the groove. One stand out sequence is the bus fight in terms of staging but the movie isn't just a one trick pony since the stunts involve hand-to-hand combat, guns, knives and cars, all of them working equally well.
Technically Nobody also has a great flow to it which you first might see in the way that Naishuller directs the script to the screen - it's always a good sign that things you're shown early on (Hutch's dad, bracelet, vintage car), come back around later in the film. Evan Schiff and William Yeh's editing flexes some muscles early on by showing Hutch's everyday life but that style extends to the fight scenes and character introductions too, there isn't all that much dead space thankfully. Pawel Pogorzelski's photography goes hand in hand with the editing, there's a good variety of wides and mediums during the fights but there are powerful, lively shots in scenes featuring Yulian's night club as well that showcase the lighting setups.
Smileys: Stunt choreography, editing, cinematography, directing
For all thieves out there: always take the watch, never the kitty cat bracelet.
SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW
No one seems to know what a ''Book Of Saw'' is but that doesn't stop people from releasing movies titled Spiral: From The Book Of Saw into the universe. A reimagined sequel of some sorts to the 'Saw' franchise, from director Darren Lynn Bousman, involves detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock) and his new rookie partner William Schenk (Max Minghella) investigating a string of bloody murders that make them think that a copycat of Jigsaw is behind them. The kills use elaborate traps familiar to the franchise and soon the killer begins taunting Banks and his colleagues.
First of all, I'm not super informed on the lore surrounding the franchise considering that I vaguely remember watching the first film years back while walking in and out of the room doing other things. The idea of a spinoff-like sequel intrigued me enough however to check this out and while there are some neat ideas in the film, the execution just isn't all that interesting. Spiral's 90-minute runtime breezes through with some cool traps (anything with glass is always gnarly) and changing locations but the story never really evolves, it's also hurt by the fact that the killer's identity wasn't a well-kept secret.
In the acting department, Rock is most certainly trying a lot here - some moments are big misses, some are fun, bold choices - but the supporting cast is where the biggest fault lies. Much like the visuals and lighting rigs, they are stuck in your normal C.S.I/N.C.I.S/etc. episode while the movie is supposed to be a big horror thriller with a $20 million budget which could be used to flex your production design and set decoration. Spiral just isn't able to saw its way through the noise of mediocrity which is a shame.
Frowneys: Acting, story
He didn't want a new partner but he made The Saw Schenk Exception.