review by Bobby Blakey
There is no doubt that Russell Crowe is a great actor, but I have always been more of a fan of his work where he gets to cut loose in films such as Gladiator, Man With The Iron Fists and Romper Stomper. His latest film Unhinged, looks to be more of the same crazed fun co-starring Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson, and Austin P. McKenzie. Could this film live up to the promised insanity of it all or will it be nothing more than an aggressive traffic stop?
Unhinged follows Rachel who is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger whose life has left him feeling powerless and invisible. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who decides 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 just how close you are to someone who is about to become unhinged.
Right out of the gate it lets you know that Crowe’s character is off his rocker. I love that they don’t hide that he is already a bad guy that has done bad things and likely headed for more before he encounters Rachel. From there it drags a bit as it sets up the other characters and the chance encounter where it all goes wrong. Thankfully this doesn’t take too long and once it gets going rarely lets up. It’s kind of a silly catalyst of an expected apology in a road rage situation that causes it all, but the smart addition of Crowe’s insanity makes it work.
This is a loud and intense movie that is very violent from people being run over to beaten badly. The mix of the sound mix, music and intensity makes it cringe worthy at times without being overly gory too often. Crowe is in full on bat shit crazy mode and looking to be enjoying every minute of it. He is so
good in this role from his everyman look do empty dead eyes that you believe this guy just doesn’t care about anything and he proves it. His reign of chaos is only outmatched by his performance that elevates this film to something more than just throwaway schlock cinema.
If I had any real issues it’s the usual dumb decisions making and the all too convenient delay of police showing up anywhere. These are both things you come to expect in the movies, but when it’s a character like this that isn’t even hiding it makes it a bit harder to suspend disbelief. Thankfully Crowe and the movie is so violently fun you can let it go and just let the carnage take hold.
In addition to the feature this release also includes bonus content including commentary and a featurette taking you behind bringing the chaos to life. Grab your copy of Unhinged when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on November 17, 2020 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.