Review: Unhinged

Title: Unhinged
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Derrick Borte
Starring: Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Jimmi Simpson
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins

What It Is: Road rage is rampant in a large city with expanding highways, congested traffic, and people desperate to escape them among the daily, frustrating commute–something we all can attest to. One night, a disturbed middle-aged man (Crowe) commits a horrifying act and goes on the run. The following day, Rachel (Pistorious), a young mother and soon-to-be-divorcee struggling to make her house payments attempts at getting herself and her son to work and school on time, resulting in her annoyedly honking at a large truck stalling at a green light. Turns out, the truck was the deranged man’s, firing off a tense series of events when, already in the midst of a drug-fueled rage, he decides his last act as a free citizen will be to become personally involved in delivering some sort of terrifying “retribution” in an attempt to punish Rachael as well as act on his own violent fantasies.

What We Think: Only after watching this movie am I convinced that this is the only true B-movie that exists in 2020, an event that is evocative of cheesy crime thrillers from the 2000s. Only here can you experience to the fullest what it’s like to see Russell Crowe unleash his crazy side Nic-Cage or Deathproof-style. Yes, he changes his accent after the first scene (from a country tang to… not), yes the beginning credits lay it on a little thick with the simple theme of “road rage,” yes it feels like the cops are namely non-existent to benefit the plot convenience despite the ungodly amount of destruction completed in the public eye–and yes, this was a goddamn breath of fresh air. This fun yet dark thriller delivers on entertaining through titillating car crashes and the centerpiece that is a triggered daddy-bear Crowe who absolutely delights on a devilish level. His character’s Jigsaw-level of obsession with rectification is hilarious and makes grounds for the perfect villain, literally going about doing whatever it is he wants in an incredible display of beyond-toxic masculinity. Not only is Crowe amazing to observe, but the lead Pistorious was believable as a sympathetic everyman trying to figure out how to deal with a complete random psychopath (not to mention we never even learn of his name in the movie, literally credited as “The Man” on IMDB). Following suit, the supporting cast and characters also lead to a surprising impact; there were some characters that had only a few minutes of screen time, yet were still completely memorable… when does that happen in non-superhero movies anymore? Ultimately I left the theater beaming from all the excitement as well as slightly haunted by how disgusting Crowe’s character was projected.

Our Grade: BThe perfect B-movie, twisted to a T. I recommend this to everyone who can handle some minimal gore and dark situations (a lot of the graphic stuff that ended up occurring in the movie was deliciously unprecedented without having to cross the line into being a difficult viewing experience). The premise is simple yet uproarious, the plot’s tendency to deliver neatly on all the setups was super rewarding, and overall the film was pretty technically solid. Everyone owes it to themselves to watch a bleary, beady-eyed Russel Crowe stampeding around with a God complex and his pickup truck in a murderous rage just because some lady honked at him. I owe it to myself to give it second viewing.

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Chai Simone Written by: