A road rage incident spirals out of control in this taught and brutal thriller.
Rachel (Caren Pistorious) is having a bad day. She has overslept, received bad news from the husband she is divorcing and the lawyer handling her case, her best customer has fired her and her son is going to be late for school again. So when a man (Russell Crowe) fails to move when a traffic light turns green she doesn’t think anything of honking her horn. Unfortunately for her this man has gone past breaking point and is about to teach her what a bad day really looks like.
Unhinged feels like a throwback to the sort of thrillers made in the ‘80s and ‘90s. It’s a simple concept with efficient plotting and runs at a brisk 90 minutes long. But what feels most old fashioned about it is the no holds barred brutal violence that earns it a deserving 15 certificate and ensures the feeling that anything can happen.
Pistorious plays the stressed heroine well but this film is all about Crowe’s ferocity. Formerly a leading man and known for his intensity it’s interesting here to see him as an out and out villain. There is little attempt to humanise his “Man” which is the role he is credited with. He literally grunts in anger as he uses his vehicle as a deadly weapon. His massive bulk is imposing and that extra weight transfers to the physical attacks he meets out to those he wants to claim retribution from.
Simple, brutal and effective.