Unhinged is a thriller film starring Russell Crowe as the ultimate road rage perpetrator here. The film was written by Carl Ellsworth and directed by Derrick Borte. Caren Pistorius plays the young mother in the crosshairs of the murderous Tom Cooper after a somewhat unpleasant exchange at an intersection. Other cast members include Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson, Austin P. McKenzie, and Michael Papajohn.
The film starts of with a couple being murdered and the house being burned to the ground. Tom Cooper apparently feels that he did not get a fair shake in his divorce and went a bit overboard in expressing his dissatisfaction. Rachel Flynn is a young mother going though her own divorce and apparently has an aversion to punctuality, but she tries. While taking her young son to school, she rather loses her patience with a driver in front of her at an intersection, who does not move when the light turns green. Unfortunately, the inattentive driver is Tom Cooper, who does not appreciate the insistent honking from behind him. From there, the body count starts to ratchet upward. Rachel is terrified understandably but is still hesitant to offer the sincere apology that is being not no nicely requested by Tom. There are car chases aplenty. There is some impressive brutality when Tom starts finding out about Rachel’s friends and family. It’s just crazy violent.
Unfortunately, the film has some shortfalls as expected. Tom Cooper’s background and the reasoning to his rage is not really explained all that well. Russell Crowe does do a good job and conveying that madness though. He is a talented guy and has been known to flip out a bit in real life, so he was well cast for this one. He can do a convincing madman. Pistorius is pretty good in her role, but I did not find her character all that interesting or sympathetic really. Maybe she needed to be a little sassier or something. I think it had more to do with the writing than the performance though. Pistorius did her best with it, but the material with which she had to work was not all that much of an attention grabber. Another issue I had was that the police were already supposed to be looking for Cooper since the beginning of the film for the murder of his ex-wife and her new beau, and yet I was not sure how he was successfully eluding the manhunt up to that point. Some of the plot points don’t make much sense, but I could be expecting too much for this type of film. Basically, some of it works adequately, but much of it doesn’t. It’s not a complete waste of time, but it certainly isn’t a hidden gem either.