Russell Crowe Welcomes Audiences Back With B-Level Thriller ‘Unhinged’ (Review)

by | Aug 22, 2020

With this movie review being published, we would like to inform our readers that for the foreseeable future, we will publish movie reviews when it’s most safe and convenient for our staff members to view new releases.

Who better to welcome audiences back to the theaters than Russell Crowe? Well, I’m sure that question could spur so many different answers. But hey, it’s a new world where, for now, everything is day-to-day. For example, weeks ago, we had Tenet and Mulan being the first movies to welcome us back to the theater. But with things being so uncertain, that changed. Tenet is now opening Labor Day weekend and Mulan is skipping theaters (in the US) and hitting premium video on demand. So, with the dominoes falling back into different places, Solstice Studios’ Unhinged is the first new release for viewers in a majority of theaters reopening in the US today. Thankfully, Unhinged is not some leftover movie in the bin that gets an opportunity to be the “first” major release in theaters since March. Unhinged is exactly what you pay for: it’s a B-level thriller that lets a two-time Academy Award-winner go nuts in the lead role.

The best way to sum up Unhinged is that it’s a road rage movie where a mom (played by Caren Pistorius) and son (played by Gabriel Bateman) unfortunately cross paths with Tom Cooper (played by Russell Crowe), a mentally-unstable man who blows a gasket after an altercation with the unfortunate mother and child. Sure, it starts off slow, like most B-level thrillers. But what comes next, is an intense (and sometimes cheesy) thrill ride until the credits role. That’s it. It’s nothing complicated or deep-thinking. It’s a straightforward thriller that knows what it is and stays in it’s road rage-approved lane. Like I said before, it’s exactly what you pay for and what you see is fun to watch whenever Crowe graces the screen. While the action and thrills are mostly small-scale, combined with Crowe’s rage, they make for a fun ride.

Crowe, who looks like he ate another one of himself here, goes nearly full Nicolas Cage when it comes to his outbursts, resulting in bad consequences. While Crowe has played the antagonist in movies before, he’s set loose here in Unhinged. Of course, Crowe is one of the best living actors of our time, and his range as an actor is certainly undeniable. But it’s good to see him in something like this where he is out of his usual space(s) that makes you either whence or grin based on his actions or words. While Crowe gives it his all here, the other main characters (the mother and son) are just fill-ins. However, Pistorius delivers the best line in the movie. If you see this movie, then you will know what it is.

I’m honestly not sure how long movie theaters will remain open. If everyone complies and does their part, we might be rewarded with future releases down the road, even before there is a vaccine. However, there’s still a lot of uncertainty as theaters reopen today. We’ll see how things play out, as I remain both skeptical and slightly optimistic. However, I can’t deny that watching 80 minutes (until the credits roll) of mayhem, courtesy of Crowe, made me smile a little bit just for finally getting to see a theatrical release again.

If you decide to venture back to theaters and see this fairly entertaining thriller, or some other first-run movie, do your part by masking up and spreading out so we can continue to be rewarded with new releases.

Rating: 3/5