Unhinged

I found myself watching Unhinged at the local cinema and wondered why I was there. Its the first time I could actually visit the cinema after the covid lockdown but it felt anticlimactic. A lawyer friend recommended the flick but it wasn’t until a critical scene that it ‘clicked’. Here is a lawyer on celluloid who is subject to the wrath of a road raging psychopath. The ‘unhinged’ Tom Cooper (Russell Crowe) manages to track them down on his victim’s phone. The grizzly scene is set in a suburban diner and ends quickly enough when Cooper reveals his intent. Crowe seems to have grown bigger (in statue and in girth) but having played some complex and developed characters in numerous productions, seems lacking in this one. Sure, he cuts the part as a dangerous man in an oversized pick-up with a serious chip on his shoulder but the role here is two dimensional. You find yourself following a plot that feels somewhat contrived. Instead of a road side stand off or some such, we are thrust into a road rage scenario that by chance happens to involve a serial killer. Tooting to alert a signal change sets off a campaign of terrorizing and killings. The opening scene references this but feels like an add on to justify a deeper intent. Nonetheless, it is not immediately predictable from one moment to the next. There is always the element of surprise. The implication is that the micro plot reflects the macro society and demonstrates a greater consequence. 
Both Russell Crowe and Caren Pistorius save the film as a I guess was hoped. Pistorius (as Rachel Hunter) is especially persuasive drawing you in as someone who’s randomly singled out. She is able to express the full gamut of emotions above and beyond a lesser talent. 
Action sequences are good as is expected and skew to the ‘real’ rather than sensational. They are of the post Bourne Ultimatum variety and seem plausible. But if they weren’t, the film would fail since they’re meant to reinforce social realism and the expressive intent of the killer.
Perhaps not the best movie choice post-covid lockdown but entertaining nonetheless.

Director  Derrick Borte
Screen play  Carl Ellsworth
Tom Cooper  Russell Crowe 
Rachel Hunter  Caren Pistorius
Kyle Hunter  Gabriel Bateman

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