Academy Award winner Russell Crowe stars in Unhinged, a psychological thriller that takes something we’ve all experienced- road rage – to an unpredictable and terrifying conclusion. Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is running late getting to work when she crosses paths with a stranger (Crowe) at a traffic light. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who feels invisible and is looking to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse that proves you never know who you’re driving next to.Written by Elissa Greer
I think it’s safe to say that anyone that has been behind the wheel of a vehicle in any capacity has experienced a degree of road rage anger. It’s a human emotion that’s nearly impossible to purge from within. Right out of the gate, Unhinged is able to provide a plot and overall story that a majority of society can relate to. Given the current climate during a global pandemic, tension amongst us all is at an all-time high, and this is a film that centers on that; providing you a different perspective, which you may not encounter on the day to day.
Meet ‘The Man’ (Russell Crowe) who has had a series of rough days, and he’s clearly at the end of his rope. Early on, the film does a fantastic job setting up the tone, letting you know what this man is capable of. His performance gives new meaning to the notion that you may not always know who you’re dealing with. If anything can be picked up by The Man’s character, it is that it’s always best to be courteous to your fellow neighbors. That doesn’t at all justify any wrongdoings that may fall upon you if you don’t, but the film does succeed in making that point clear in reference to the titular character. The Man is basically fed up with life and wants to take it out on everyone that looks at him the wrong way.
His victim Rachel (Caren Pistorius) has her own set of issues to add on to this mess as well. It doesn’t seem as if she thinks her daily duties through thoroughly, and she appears to have a teenage son who’s more responsible than she is. As far as her character development goes this is just awful. If she’s the victim, the audience should feel sorry for her, and be excited if she makes it out of this film alive. So the first impression we’re given is already a faulty one, and to make matters worse she’s extremely rude egging on the brutality that The Man is soon to deliver to her. I found myself scratching my head in disgust at some of the decisions she made during the film with them being highly misguided.
However, when the killings start in the film they are very vicious to say the least. Russell Crowe’s character, The Man, is a truly insane, disturbed individual who needs help. He tries to be rational early on as someone responsible by just asking for a simple apology based on a misunderstanding at a red light, but when he doesn’t receive it, his “unhinged” personality finally emerges. The problem with the rest of the film isn’t that his character is a stretch, because it’s very believable. The issue lies with the completely illogical and unrealistic sequence of events that follows. Scene after scene I found myself thinking, “This would never happen in any real-life situation.” This ranges from the response time from law enforcement, to the will of surrounding bystanders to step in when trouble arises, to the misuse of current technology, and to the characters walking away from car crashes without a scratch after their vehicle has been T-boned and flipped over.
Some of the plot points are quite laughable to be honest with you, and it’s a shame because this idea of a film is wasted due to poor execution of common sense in the writing room. This is the type of film where you’re screaming at the screen, and you’re left frustrated by how certain events turn out. So much could’ve been avoided through logical thinking, but for some reason I’m assuming the director thought it would be edgy if certain characters didn’t use their brains. I still don’t understand how The Man had teleportation powers, because that definitely seemed like it was the case. It’s a shame that this is the first movie to bring audiences back to the theater, but if you must get out to go see it don’t say I didn’t warn you.