Director Derrick Borte had hoped that Unhinged would be the film that welcomes the crowds back to reopening cinemas, something that an ongoing pandemic put a dampener to, that said, there were a lucky few that managed to see this extremely volatile dangerous cat and mouse on the big screen, myself included, and although the movie isn’t massive CGI fest where the bigger the screen the grander the spectacle, I remember finding the experience of returning to the cinema extremely enjoyable and felt as if our lives were returning to some form of normality, even if it was a brutal story about other dangers of road-rage and not knowing what the person next to you is going through.
The credits are littered with audio of ‘real’ recordings of people experiencing road-rage, setting the stage for what is a rather simple story about a woman (Pistorius) letting her frustration get the better of her at a junction and taking it out on the wrong man (Crowe), there’s no political commentary to sub-plots to be found here, instead, this is a good old fashioned manic-thriller in the vein of Falling Down (1993), Chaning Lanes (2002) or Joy Ride (2001).
Russell Crowe (Gladiator) had clearly bulked up for this role, giving him the perfect appearance of a man who had slipped over the edge and now only cares about getting back at the woman who insulted him at a traffic junction, no matter how many people are injured or killed in the process. The mouse to Crowe’s cat, Caren Pistorius (Mortal Engines) more than holds her own as the frantic mother trying her hardest to protect her son (Bateman) escape the murderous man in the big truck, though this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s watched 2015’s Slow West.
Overall, this film is sure to get your blood pressure up as the set pieces get gradually more violent and the damage gets increasingly over-the-top. this isn’t a film where you need to engage your brain, but Unhinged is exactly what it promises to be, a brutal series of well-done action sequences filled with car crashes, death and destruction, nothing more and nothing less.