Everyone has had a bad day. Whether it’s being late due to waking up late, the traffic that slows our commute or even the stranger that we run into that is nothing but rude can make anyone’s blood pressure start to rise. People are always on edge it seems during times of great stress. With the Covid-19 pandemic being a main cause of stress currently in the world of today, instead we venture back to a simpler time so to speak. A time where people were fired from their jobs, had a nasty divorce or even worse someone blaring their car horn at you. Unhinged is a movie that takes that last part I just said to a whole new level and what is the result, a ridiculous thriller that will have you rolling your eyes in disbelief but perhaps you’ll be smiling while doing so.
Although the movie is careful to not mention where it takes place, all the license plates say “America’s Heartland” and the radio and newscasters don’t mention the city by name, this was filmed in Louisiana and takes place in New Orleans. Traffic is a mess and Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is already far behind schedule. Her son Kyle (Gabriel Batman) is also late for school and is facing detention if he’s late one more time! After a series of stopping and moving on the freeway, Rachel decides to take the city streets where she encounters the worst of all drivers; someone sitting at a traffic light and not moving once the traffic signal switches to the color green. Rachel is frustrating and lets out two long screams of her horn until she gets fed up and speeds off moving around the truck.
The thing she doesn’t know is that her problems are just beginning. It’s not enough to be late but how about we throw in some road rage as well. Behind the wheel of the gray truck she was blaring her horn at is Tom Cooper (Russel Crowe) a heavy set man whose face looks to be portraying pure anger. He approaches Rachel’s car and the next stop light and tries to be as polite as her can but Rachel won’t give him the time of day. Instead of brushing it off, Tom explodes with anger and relentlessly pursues Rachel even going to great lengths to harm her and others.
We see several car accidents, a brutal stabbing and even Tom setting a house on fire as the film opens. He’s a man with nothing to lose and one of the things I appreciated most about the film is the need to not include a reason why this madman is doing what he’s doing. Essentially, he’s lost everything in his life and besides being homicidal he’s also suicidal as well, but he’s not going alone. As I said before, there are a plethora of scenes in this movie that will have you balking at the screen. Sure, it’s over-the-top and at times utterly insane but who said movies have to abide by the rules of reality. I enjoyed the thriller moments and there are plenty of them and I loved the bad moments as well. You’ll either roll your eyes of laugh at the screen. My advice, laugh at the screen for the sheer audacity of it actually occurring.
At a brisk ninety minutes, the movie wastes no time with pointless dialogue or needless scenes of the damsel in distress. It takes all the elements of what a thriller should be; a simple story, a compelling villain and moments of wild entertainment and this movie delivered the goods. The movie may not examine the full potential of someone losing their cool, if you’re looking for that kind of movie then may I suggest Falling Down with Michael Douglas. Unhinged is simple, fast and completely ludicrous and I loved it for all those reasons.
Score 4 out of 5
After being away from the movies for so long, watching Unhinged is the equivalent of getting a shot of adrenaline. It’ll wake you up and thrill you for its entirety. Sure, the movie is complete bonkers at times but who cares about reality at a time like this. It’s B-movie at best. The performances are good, the script is wild and the direction is handled quite well. It’s not perfect, it does have those typical thriller cliches but at the end of the day, I can say that watching Unhinged gave me quite the ride of excitement. I’m sure glad I only flash my high beams at people who don’t move when the light turns green! I think I may have saved myself from encountering a person like Tom Cooper. You want excitement and a completely crazy time at the theater? Then go for a road rage from hell movie!