Unhinged is a popcorn thriller that gets intensified by Russell Crowe to levels it shouldn’t achieve.
Unhinged is a thriller from The Joneses director Derrick Borte, starring Academy Award winner Russell Crowe, Westworld’s Jimmi Simpson, and Mortal Engines‘ Caren Pistorius, in a film where one man can’t handle road rage, tormenting the person who caused this rage.
Unhinged follows a divorced single mother, Rachel (Pistorius), who is trying to keep her life together after losing nearly everything, her business, maybe her home, everything she has worked for. She is taking her son Kyle (Bateman) to school, running late as always, when she gets caught up in a minor traffic incident with a Man (Crowe) who doesn’t take too kindly to her pushing him along. He wants a simple apology, only when she refuses to give one, he promises to make her have the worst day of her life. The man terrorizes Rachel, targeting her loved ones, in what is his sick twisted game of revenge after finally breaking.
Unhinged brings us a story that shows us the dangers of road rage, and while we do go to an extreme level of it, any minor incident could become deadly if it is done to the wrong person. This side of the story helps keep everything easy, we even get a couple of issues that could become plot holes out of the way early, one being petrol, the second being the loss of the phone. Seeing how The Man torments Rachel is very disturbing, he doesn’t hold back in his violence which adds a lot of intensity to the film, in a different way that films like Duel or Joyride have in the past. We could pick apart the weaknesses in the bad decision making here, and lack of police activities, after the very violent crime the Man commits to start the film, and they know who was behind it, but it would take away from the personal battle between the two. This is a story you want to watch until the end; you want to see just how twisted the Man will be next, he just doesn’t want to stop.
Unhinged has Russell Crowe giving one of the best villainous performances of the year, he is truly terrifying in the role, he looks physically threatening in every scene, his eyes make him look dead inside like this is all that is left — he is a villain that lifts this film to new levels. Caren Pistorius does show us the struggles her character is going through, anyone that has lost everything they earned is going to feel the way she does, which is what she brings the to table here. Gabriel Bateman continues his rise to the top with another strong supporting role, while everyone else does get a scene, which Crowe usually steals from them.
Unhinged is a thriller that shows that someone could be pushed to the edge and not come back, become a violent psychopath without having an off button. We just don’t know what this man is capable of, with each of his actions becoming worse as the film unfolds. The car chases do look very entertaining, only you might have a couple of questions about how certain people have this much skill behind the wheel, with their line of work, which doesn’t normally involve 70-80mph car chases around town — this applies to both characters, too.
Overall Unhinged is a popcorn film you can enjoy and you will become mesmerized by Russell Crowe’s psychotic performance.
Darren starting writing for films at Movies Reviews 101. He joined the Ready Steady Cut team in 2018 and is a proud member of the LAMB (Large Association of movie bloggers).