Unhinged

Unhinged is appropriately named for two reasons: 1) The times we’re living in as the movie makes a social commentary on mental instability and 2) Russell Crowe’s performance is just like the title.

Crowe is beefed up here as a man who already suffers from mental illness after being divorced. He lives in New Orleans and one day in traffic, he sits in front of a red light and doesn’t move his truck. Another driver, Rachel (Caren Pistorius), honks at him to get him moving.

Later, Cooper confronts Rachel on the highway and demands that she accept his apology which she refuses. After that, it’s a cat-and-mouse game of Cooper relentlessly pursuing Rachel in order to make sure she knows what a bad day is like.

Not only does Cooper make her life a living hell, but he also disrupts virtually everyone else in her life. Everyone from her son (Gabriel Bateman) to her boss to her divorce laywer is not safe, especially the latter who may end up on the menu at a diner where Cooper meets him.

I’ve already said that Unhinged is appropriately named for the aforementioned reasons, but it’s also a movie that is equal parts predictable, preposterous, and borderline amusing.

Crowe is clearly giving his all as the bad guy and he’s actually a menacing presence even if there are scenes that take him into camp territory.

The movie does try to work in the social commentary, but its effectiveness is disjointed in the midst of a movie that changes tonally into a slasher thriller.

Plus, the movie does a tried-and-true cliche of certain objects that a character might need and you can bet before the end, that object will come in handy later.

Unhinged is really more of a guilty pleasure than a solid suspense thriller and on that level, I’m glad I saw it. Kinda.

Grade: B-

(Rated R for strong violent content and language throughout.)

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