At this moment in time we all find ourselves in, going to the movies is more than a mere novelty, its a genuine treat, so in that way we can be thankful for Unhinged that opened in Australian cinema’s this week.
Lathered in a hearty dose of Falling Down, a little bit of Duel and a lot of very angry Russell Crowe (more diabetic angry Kernel Sanders than Maximus), there’s nothing new or even particularly great about Derrick Borte’s grim thriller, but it does do exactly as what was promised in all the promotions for this grizzly affair, that sees Crowe go into full meltdown mode against Caren Pistorius’s unsuspecting mother Rachel in a road rage incident that will make you think twice about beeping the horn next time you’re on the road.
Originally supposed to be the film that heralded in the return to cinema complexes in America at the start of July, Derrick Borte’s topically examination of the rage that is bubbling away within society at this present time, whether its from hour long traffic jams, relationship breakdowns or the mistrust in the “system” is far from nuanced or balanced but this simplistic and over the top thriller does provide enough thrills and spills to keep us invested throughout and offers Crowe one of his funnest roles in years.
Not often found playing the downright bad guy, Crowe is at his menacing best as the unnamed man haunting Rachel’s day, that goes from bad to worse very quickly after running into him on the road on the way to the school drop off, from the moment we watch him commit a brazen act of violence in the films opening scene to the the mere look he gives through the window of a car, Crowe is chewing up the scenery at every chance he gets and it makes watching Unhinged a guilty good time.
It must be noted that outside of being extremely far-fetched (as is often the case with such films) and playing out in a fashion that is typical of this sub-genre of thriller’s, Unhinged is frequently unpleasant.
There’s barely a moment of respite from the horrors occurring throughout and if your blood pressure was high before going into a screening of the film it would go through the roof by the time the film is done with you, as while its well-staged and performed, there’s an oppressive bleakness seeping through the entirety of Borte’s film, making it one to watch when your up for such a grim and grimy affair.
Final Say –
Charged forward by a snarling and frightening Russell Crowe, Unhinged is a polished thriller that achieves exactly what it promises to do, nothing more and nothing less.
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Review by eddie_baggins