Unhinged is a movie you won’t soon forget. For those who have sat at a green light, waiting for the vehicle ahead to start going, or for those who honked at another vehicle only to see the driver become angry, this road rage relatable film is for you. Of course, Russell Crowe is playing the extreme version of the road-rage out-of-control maniac, but he plays it well.
When Rachel and her son Kyle are sitting still on the freeway, due to congested traffic that looks like a sold-out Patriots game, Rachel decides to dart out of the traffic to hit an exit and save some time. She has already had a lousy day: oversleeping, calling her client to tell her she was running late, and then being fired on the phone. Oh, and her ex-husband is trying to get the house. When the pick-up truck in front of her doesn’t budge for several seconds when the red light turns green, she honks in frustration. Unfortunately, she honks at the wrong guy.
Rachel scurries her car around the truck, but when traffic is slowed down (again!), he pulls up next to her and tells her how rude she was for not giving a “courtesy tap” on her horn. He even demonstrates it for her. She doesn’t respond kindly, and he finally apologizes for the bad day she must be having and then expects an apology from her. She bluntly tells him that she has nothing to be sorry for and then the incident begins to escalate.
He really does become “unhinged,” and the next think you know he is pursuing Kyle and Rachel in his truck—and it doesn’t take long for her to catch on. He bumps her car, rams it, and is relentless in his pursuit. When Rachel drops Kyle off at school and then stops to get gas, she sees him from inside the store. He has pulled behind her car.
Later, a few things are learned about him, including that his name is Tom Cooper and he himself went through a divorce. He has also battled substance abuse.
Regardless, the movie doesn’t hide his violence. He runs over a man at the gas station and treats an attorney rather badly when he goes to a restaurant where he is supposed to meet Rachel. Tom has her phone and is making her life more difficult as the day goes on. He even asks her on the phone to pick out which of her friends or relatives he should kill. But it soon becomes clear that Kyle, her precious son, is the unhinged Tom’s ultimate goal—he plans to end his life.
Without spoiling the plot, Tom becomes totally focused on making Rachel’s life miserable, but when she finally apologizes to him on the phone, he makes it clear that it’s too late.
This movie is fast-paced with an edge-of-your-seat frenzied suspense, and it has no problem keeping the viewer’s attention. Unfortunately, it is peppered with strong language including several “GD” utterances, in addition to multiple uses of the “F” bomb. The violence is definitely R-worthy as well, with a few scenes of blood and graphic violence.
Although the movie does well in the suspense and action categories, it does not merit the Dove seal due to the excessive use of language and violence.
The Dove Take:
Unhinged is a reckless, intense definition of a lousy day, but regrettably the language and violence aren’t family-friendly.