Nobody ★★½

Revenge is a dependable thrill, but when it’s delivered by an underdog, that’s bankable. Watching Bob Odenkirk, cast against type here as a dad with a "a very particular set of skills," the thrills are genuine, but they don’t fully satisfy. Odenkirk himself is, surprisingly, convincing as a vengeance machine. But the script is treading water in territory that’s too familiar now after "Taken" and "John Wick": we get pretty much the same kind of sketchily hinted sordid backstory, roughly the same cartoonishly villainous mob antagonists; and more or less the same indulgence in excessive killing and maiming based on the thinnest of moral justifications. The only glimmer of novelty is the film’s willingness to be up front about the fact that Odenkirk’s protagonist actively enjoys the mayhem he’s causing. He goes looking for it with sadomasochistic glee, in fact, and the storytelling potential here is darkly rich. Unfortunately, neither director Ilya Naishuller nor “John Wick” scribe Derek Kolstad have much to say about that.

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