Cinematic Releases: Unhinged (2020) - Reviewed

In a time when ugliness and hatred are the name of the game, Russell Crowe stars in one of the most brutally charged films of 2020. The chaotic thriller from director Derrick Borte moves at a frenetic pace, never stopping to let its audience breath while Crowe's 'The Man' tears through the city destroying lives and property with no remorse. We've all heard the stories of road rage and some of us have experienced it first hand. This film takes it to the next level, keeping us on the edge of our seat, even as it becomes a little too separated from reality. 

Borte's Unhinged is a sharp reminder of how sad our environment is as Russell Crowe easily slinks into the role of an absolutely deranged madman. Seeking vengeance for what our society has done to him, he plays directly into our fears with a starring part that further proves what a great actor he is but also keeps us in a dire state hoping for escape from what is surely a reflection of current societal woes. Crowe has always been an amazing actor. Here he continues to prove himself at the cost of falling into exploitative nonsense that will never touch the perfected delivery of 1993's Falling Down, a film that echoes many of the same themes and character details. Sadly, Unhinged is never smart, never short on bloodshed, and unabashedly beyond repair. It may be tension laced but the movie is a hard watch when we can see this stuff happening on the news every single day of our lives. 

Focused on an every day incident of personal error, Unhinged takes its audience down a dark path into man's reliance on violence and lack of respect for human life. Much like last year's Rambo: Last Blood, the film is insistent on further revealing the awful nature of modern times and how easily our lives can change in an instant. When most people are looking for some type of escapism during one of the worst global health crises of all time, this movie is just another reminder of how nasty things really are. And sadly enough, this movie just makes things worse. It's a nearly unbearable watch that really should have been delayed further until some of us had a chance to heal from the depression or anxieties caused by the happenings of the last year.  

Yes, many films can be directly correlated or a response to the political leanings, our emotional state, or the problems in the world. Unfortunately for many, Unhinged is so absolutely dedicated to being vicious that many will have a hard time connecting to the story here. I just wanted it to end. Centered on a misogynistic madman that wants innocent people to feel his pain, this is a modern horror tale that borders on being a slasher film featuring a bulked up Russell Crowe doing his damnedest to try something new or different in his career. He succeeds at creating an amazing villain but the story itself is a hard one to bear right now.