Home Unhinged

Unhinged (15)

Cast: Russell Crowe, Jimmi Simpson, Caren Pistorius
Genre: Thriller
Author(s): Carl Ellsworth
Director: Derrick Borte
Release Date: 31/07/2020
Running Time: 93mins
Country: US
Year: 2020

Rachel is driving to work with her son Kyle in the back seat. She is running late and has an ugly altercation with a stranger called Tom at a traffic light. Tom is filled with frustration, feeling powerless in a world where good manners are frequently sacrificed to get ahead. Rachel's unnecessary rudeness is a spark to the tinder box of Tom's volcanic rage. "I don't think you know what a bad day is," he snarls, "but you are going to find out!"


 

LondonNet Film Review
Unhinged (15)

Rush hour road rage escalates into a bloodthirsty fight for survival in Derrick Borte’s wince-inducingly violent thriller. Punctuated by scenes of torture, Unhinged feels like a turbo-charged throwback to a slurry of 1990s’ potboilers, which pitted a fractured family against a psychopath whose campaign of terror often meant premature exits for household pets, nosy neighbours and winsome best friends. Scriptwriter Carl Ellsworth signals his sadistic intent in the opening 10 minutes with a horrific double murder and a ham-fisted attempt to destroy the crime scene with sloshes of petrol…

A glowering Russell Crowe with bulging, blood-shot eyes is the lunatic responsible for the inferno. The Australian Oscar winner is perfectly cast as the anger-fuelled, scenery-chewing everyman on the edge, who delivers a harsh lesson in manners on and off the road. Sympathy should be buckled tightly to the object of his frenzied obsession, played by Caren Pistorius. Unfortunately, her harried single mother is recklessness in motion: driving while talking on a mobile phone, pulling into free-flowing traffic without looking each way, turning to look at a passenger in the back seat while accelerating along a busy highway. It’s a miracle that Borte and his stunt team don’t unleash automotive carnage sooner.

Self-employed hairstylist Rachel (Pistorius) sleeps through her morning alarm and quickly dresses for an appointment with her most important client. En route, she is supposed to drop off son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman) at school but with gridlock predicted for the morning commute, he’s going to be late. Again. “Three tardies is an automatic detention,” he scolds his mother, who is distracted by the prospect of losing their home to her ex in acrimonious divorce proceedings. Rachel’s frustration boils over at a traffic light and there is an ugly altercation with a stranger called Tom (Crowe).

Her rudeness is a spark to the tinder box of his primal rage. “I don’t think you know what a bad day is,” Tom growls through the driver-side window, “but you are going to find out”. Red mist descends and Tom terrorises Rachel and Kyle on rain-slicked roads. Television news reports document Tom’s rampage as the increasingly deadly game of cat and mice ensnares Rachel’s brother Fred (Austin P McKenzie) and her lawyer Andy (Jimmi Simpson).

Unhinged doesn’t make any unexpected U-turns as the plot screeches at full pelt towards a predictably bruising final destination. Crowe menaces without breaking sweat while Pistorius tracks a familiar path from helpless victim to protective mother bear. Action sequences are well staged but show little restraint, with on-screen destruction including one unnecessarily grisly demise for a police officer. In that brutish sense, Borte’s film makes good on the promise of its title.

– Kim Hu


London Cinemas Showing Unhinged


From: Friday 23rd October
To: Thursday 29th October

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Fri 18:35; Sat 21:30; Sun 20:10; Mon 18:15 20:30

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From: Friday 30th October
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UK and Irish Cinemas Showing Unhinged


From: Friday 23rd October
To: Thursday 29th October

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