DIRECTOR: Derrick Borte (american dreamer, london town)
STARRING: russell crowe, caren pistorius, gabriel bateman and jimmi simpson
REVIEWER: lyall carter
After a road rage incident, a young woman is pursued by the man involved who is determined to teach her a series of deadly lessons.
Since lockdown has lifted we have been spoiled with some great cinema. But arguably we've been missing the big Hollywood names from the silver screen. But hold the phone. Russell Crowe is here to take a hold of the box office and to take us kicking and screaming with it. And even though Unhinged is slightly predictable, it’s a nail biting ride.
Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger (Crowe) 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.
Unhinged is your classic, B grade summer action flick in all of the right ways. We’ve seen this kind of story structure before, we know how it all will play out, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a hell of a thrilling ride.
The premise, road rage, is something that is completely universal. I’m sure we’ve all yelled at someone's bad driving, from the sound proof safety of our own vehicle, and had people flip the bird at our driving skills. At times it does feel like director Derrick Borte is stretching the road rage premise because of the length that Crowe’s character goes, but in the end you could quite believe that someone would get that violent over a driving incident.
The action of Unhinged is mainly the vehicular kind; tense, cat and mouse car chases with nail biting near misses and brutal collisions. However there are also a few stabbings, gunshots and punches thrown in for good measure as the film speeds towards its conclusion. But it's all that you’d want in a good summer popcorn flick, it's why we pay good money to go to the cinema. Are you not entertained?
Crowe goes full Brando for this role. Overweight, bearded, sweaty and manically disheveled, Crowe lets loose in all his raging glory. And it's magnificent to watch as he doggedly hunts Rachel down.
NZ actress Caren Pistorius is brilliant in the role of Rachel anchoring the film firstly as the bewildered ‘ordinary’ woman caught up in the path of a madman and then as the mother willing to do anything to protect her son. And her line, “Here’s your courtesy tap” which caused a whoop of delight in the screening I attended may just be the catchphrase of the summer blockbuster season.
Although Unhinged is slightly predictable, it’s a nail biting ride with a manically raging performance from Russell Crowe.