As I sat in a plastic covered seat, feeling it glue closer and closer to my pale legs, the scent of popcorn and nacho cheese sweetly drifted into my soul. The massive screen shook with thunderous noise that shook my rib cage like it was made of popsicle sticks. I couldn’t shovel the over-buttered popcorn into my mouth fast enough to satisfy the 14 month long craving for it. I could’ve been watching anything at this point, I was happy 30 seconds in to the first trailer, but then, the film projected onto the screen (as it’s designed to be) and then the fun really began!
It was clear from the jump this movie was all about manhood and how one should perform within that construct. Although the idea of manhood, especially the toxic masculinity version of it, escapes me, I think the message that ‘being good enough is subjective’ was delivered beautifully. Threatened routinely by the men around him, Hutch (Bob Odenkirk) tries to over-compensate for his perceived lack of testosterone, but to no avail, until who he used to be surfaces and bubbles over like hot lava, melting every face in his path. Through a monotonous daily routine, Hutch’s hope and sanity quickly slip away, erasing what he did in his previous phase of his life. I loved the beginning montage of the weekly monotonous routine. We have all seen what a boring life looks like in our own lives and on film so, I’m pleased they spared us of wasted time by making the montage quick, stutter-stepped and cinematically fun to watch.
As the movie gracefully unpacks itself, the action scenes get more and more telling about the badass assailant Hutch used to be, and still is deep down. His evident history with violence unravels when a few coincidental beat downs expose his decorated notched belt. Everything you could ever want from an action packed root-for-a-bad-guy-who-takes-out-other-bad-guys movie, with a fresh take only Bob could pull off with his classic, subtle, comedic timing. And may I just say, hubba hubba.
Speaking of handsome, older men, Christopher Lloyd as Hutch’s retired father acted his ass off! Upon his first moments on screen, he looked incredibly old and almost helpless which gave me an uneasy pity for the legendary actor. Later in the journey, he blossoms as his true self, a renegade for the ages keeping up with the fittest of them. His acting was flawless and a masterclass in delivering a natural performance. I loved and appreciated the age appropriate, and, contrary to popular Hollywood belief, still very beautiful wife, played by Connie Nielsen, who gave a great performance as well. The soundtrack is impeccable- the right amount of intervening and complimenting the story, really kicking into high gear when Hutch starts revealing pieces of his past that certify him as a total demagogue.
Laced with iconic fight scenes showcasing shotgun style sequences that satisfy fantasies of criminality, this kick ass movie about kicking ass delivers a perfect punch to the audiences’ adrenaline.