Before I get into this review, let’s start out with some facts that illustrate how common road rage has become in our society. According to Carinsurance.net,
- Road rage is the leading cause of accidents
- Over one-third of road rage cases involve firearms
- 30 murders are attributed to road rage every year
- Eight in 10 drivers experience road rage
- Two out of three traffic fatalities occur due to aggressive driving.
And I’ll be honest, I have yelled a few, or a few dozen, times at a poor driver – and once I even followed a woman (and made her extremely uncomfortable) who cut me off and wouldn’t let me get into the lane I needed before missing a turn. Not one of my finest moments, but it really is common to take out our frustrations on others when on the road – sometimes dangerously so.
Which leads me to the premise of the latest thriller UNHINGED, the first major movie opening in theaters August 21 during the pandemic. In the film, Academy award-winner Russell Crowe stars as a character so extremely frightening, he isn’t even named – and doesn’t have to because the character’s actions are more important than knowing any moniker. In a chance encounter with Rachel (Caren Pistorious), where she displays some impatience at his driving behavior on the road, he angrily pledges to show her the meaning of “a bad day,” and does he ever.
Now, it’s no doubt that Crowe is a dynamic actor, and he’s sure enough believable as the violent, crazy – just take a look at his actual past (sorry, not sorry). All that to say, he most certainly does not disappoint as The Man and I truly was scared to see what would occur next, or who he’d target to “teach” Rachel a lesson.
The actor mentioned he was hesitant to take the role at first stating,
“Absolutely not. I’m not doing this movie, it scares (the shit) out of me, this character is intensely dark… and when I heard that come out of my mouth, I was like, since when did I stop doing that? Cause that’s basically what I look for. I look for the challenges.”
And I promise you will yell at the screen and at Rachel while viewing because of her (initial) poor decision making. It only takes a decent body count for her to display some good sense! It’s definitely reminiscent of Kidnap, the 2017 Academy award-winner Halle Berry vehicle. It displayed the same poor decision making in beginning but, where the latter falls short, the action is so heart-stopping in Unhinged the viewer can’t help but be engaged and invested in what’s going to happen next.
Now, it’s not a superb psychological thriller – there’s no mental health analysis and I’m not quite sure who the folks are at the very beginning – I guessed but like The Man’s name it’s not stated. However, the film is high on entertainment value – and there are good performances within a solid story.
And it’s a great reminder that none of us know what someone else is going through, on any given day, so kindness and patience really can go a long way (stares at myself upon remembering that I literally followed a stranger and could have been easily harmed or vice versa). Pistorious put it best when she shared,
“You don’t have any idea what somebody else’s world is. It would be so easy to judge ‘The Man’ and Rachel, but they both have, separately, had their worlds falling apart in different ways,”
The Derrick Borte directed movie starts out with a bang, slows for a few main character introductions and then escalates and keeps you on edge until the end. Overall, it’s a jaw-dropping good time and a great popcorn flick. I rate it 3 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
UNHINGED opens in theaters nationwide on August 21. Get additional info and theater locations at the official website here.
Until next thought, Thomasena