An unknown man (Russell Crowe) is dealing with a tragedy in his personal life and is filled with nothing but hurt, pain, anger, and rage. On the flip side, we have Rachel (Caren Pistorius), a single mum currently dealing with a divorce. Rachel lives with her only son, her brother and her brother’s girlfriend. It is quite evident that when Rachel wakes up she is dealing with several complications and challenges in her life. But when Rachel forgets to set her alarm for work, she rushes out the door to take her son to school and is late for a crucial meeting, her lateness made worse by traffic. Her boss calls while she is on the way, firing Rachel on the spot. But things are about to get even worse for Rachel and her son.
While stopping at a set of traffic lights, the lights turn green, and Rachel notices the large car in front is not moving. Rachel beeps her horn several times only to discover the man behind the wheel is unimpressed with Rachel’s attitude. The strange man admits that he is going through a rough time in life and apologises to Rachel.
Frustrated, she does not want to hear anything that comes out of the stranger’s mouth, claiming what he did to her was still wrong. Now the strange man, or ‘The Man’, instantly has a change of heart and decides it’s time to show Rachel what it means to have a bad day. ‘The Man’ will now not only attempt to kill Rachel and her son but also destroy all the people she loves around her.
The biggest highlight and praise of this film is seeing Russell Crowe play this man full of rage. Russell Crowe, as an actor, has completely changed his body physically, becoming a large man willing to kill anyone who stands in his way. Crowe also adds a charming little accent to this character which comes across as consistently threatening, creepy and damaging whenever he speaks out loud.
Visually this film is also pleasing. Action scenes are excellent and shocking particularly when it comes to cars and vehicles smashing into each other on busy highways. To my surprise, Unhinged is also quite a brutal film, and some viewers may find some of the deaths or violence slightly disturbing.
As a plot, while it’s enjoyable for the most part, some elements are questionable. Characters choices are uncertain at times, but there are also some moments and outcomes that were predictable before they occurred. The introduction to ‘The Man’ is excellent, but his back story feels vague and incomplete. I would have preferred if the film had either kept him as a complete mystery with no back story or a character with more back story. The film also seems to aim at sending a positive message to its audience, but it never entirely practised what it was trying to preach.
Overall, Unhinged is quite a suspenseful film. Russell Crowe is undoubtedly a significant highlight playing a violent stranger who is so full of rage and hate that he will destroy anyone who crosses him. The film is also quite brutal with its violence, and this surprised me. Visual effects are praiseworthy with action sequences that are shocking and fun. Some plot elements may seem a little too far fetched to accept, and some editing choices relating to character developments are questionable. Nevertheless, I still had a great time watching this film and would proudly suggest movie lovers buckle up, drive safely to your nearest cinemas and check this one out.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden