If anyone is familiar with Russell Crowe’s character in the movie Gladiator, his character in Unhinged is the polar opposite. Vicious, psychotic, ruthless and mad are a few words to sum up “Man”, Crowe’s unnamed character. Released over the summer, but just coming to theaters in the United States, this thriller cost 33 million dollars and has not broke even in the box office, which is currently at 31.8 million dollars.
Unhinged opens with real videos of car crashes, road rage and people breaking into stores, which was an addition I could have done without. I understood the message and attempted social commentary, but in a time like this, road rage is the least of my concerns, and the videos just seemed unnecessary.
Immediately, the movie depicts “Man” (Russell Crowe) murdering someone, setting ablaze, and exploding his ex-wife’s house. Thriller movies should build suspense, and by instantly revealing what the man was capable of, it made parts of the movie unsurprising and predictable.
The movie transitions to a family: a mother, her son, her brother and the brother’s girlfriend. We are made to feel sympathy for the son, Kyle (Gabriel Bateman), as his mother, Rachel (Caren Pistorious) and father are divorcing. Rachel is clearly out of sorts and the son has to deal with this, so when they hit traffic on the way to school, Rachel decides to take a new route to try and get Kyle to school on time. They are sitting at a stoplight when the light turns green and the truck in front of them doesn’t budge. Frustrated, Rachel angrily honks her horn and swerves around him. At the next stoplight, the man pulls up next to them and warns against Rachel’s impatience and unwillingness to apologize.
After Rachel drops Kyle off at school, she goes to the gas station and realizes the man is following her. Things quickly escalate as he runs over someone trying to chase her out of the gas station. The man had stolen her phone and is now tracking and making calls with Rachel from an old flip phone. From there on, there is a lot of blood, car chases, and wierd tactics of murder. The man’s ultimate goal is to show Rachel what a bad day really is, and for her to give him a sincere apology.
Okay, I’ll admit it, I did see this movie as a joke. The trailer of Russel Crowe made me laugh, the funniest part being the script. The writing was unnatural and seemed lazy. Some one-liners that were supposed to be scary and adrenaline-filled, like when the man said he was going to “play Russian roulette with [Rachel’s] contact list,” ended up just making me laugh.
However, there were some really dark situations and graphic scenes. There were a couple decent jump scares, mostly because there was a lot of action happening in the scene already and you would not expect more chaos. The acting was good, in my opinion, with the script they had to work with. Finally, the ending song in the last scene was out of place and did not fit the movie at all. While Unhinged was not a boring movie, I still would recommend that you choose another to watch instead.
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