There’s something to be said, at least from a bravery standpoint, for being the first theatrical wide release to test the just reopened movie theater marketplace.
I’ve read several publications citing that Unhinged “isn’t worth risking your life for” — I think depending on where in the world you are, perhaps especially outside the United States that statement is a tad bit dramatic.
Sooner or later, movie theaters had to reopen, and they needed studios to release new movies. Solstice Studio stepped up and offered Russell Crowe in a character coming Unhinged. Solstice Studio’s Mark Gill explains why in the interview quoted below.
I have worked for a whole lot of crazy bosses, including eight years of Harvey Weinstein. This is crazier. Even up until last Wednesday we weren’t certain the theaters were going to open on August 21. Prior to that, it was the horror movie version of Groundhog Day. You wake up and this bad thing happened and that bad thing happened, and this would go sideways. It has been unbelievable and there’s no way to prepare for it, other than keep adapting. As the missiles come in, you keep ducking, or running left. It has really been simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. On the one hand you say it’s fascinating and it requires a lot of stamina. On the other hand, you go, really? Can we have some good news for once, please? And then we finally did. Australia just exploded, it has been phenomenal.Mark Gill Launching Solstice Reopen US Theaters Russell Crowe Unhinged – Deadline
This first weekend Box Office Mojo (so glad to see US box office revenues showing again!) is estimating $4 million from nearly 2,000 screens. In March that would have been considered average or slightly below, even on a $30 million budget, but most reporting I’ve read this weekend has been more positive.
… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
The violent opening scene sets the stage
Starting the film out with the bloated Russell Crowe as “The Man” Tom Harper going into the house, going off Ted Bundyish on the inhabitants and literally burning the house down sets a pretty dark tone. We now want to watch out for the big man in the big truck. Where will he appear again.
Flash to opening scene with mother late to get her son to school. Great contrast.
The whole idea of courtesy honking with a brief tap instead of laying on the horn is the central “why” behind The Man’s meltdown. Just courtesy tap the person in front of you in traffic, no need to road rage them because … they might return the favor.
Reviews by Others
What do others think of Unhinged?
- tensecondsfromnow / film-authority: “Tom Hunter’s unique brand of madness makes him a great villain, and provides just the right centre for Unhinged to deliver in off-the-hook action and urban thrills. It won’t trouble the Academy, it was never intended to, but there’s a long road back for cinema, and it starts here right here with a bang and a screech of tyres.”
- Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys) (3/5): “Charged forward by a snarling and frightening Russell Crowe, Unhinged is a polished thriller that achieves exactly what it promises to do, nothing more and nothing less.”
- Keith & The Movies (3.5/5): “…a simple yet satisfying thriller that by the end turns into full-on maniacal horror. Its simplicity is its biggest flaw. While the film aggressively barrels forward, it sticks to its one single lane and never taking a detour.”
- Mad For Movie Reviews: “is the fun and immersive cinematic experience we need right now and after 157 days without seeing a single movie in the cinema I can tell you nothing felt better than losing myself in the big screen and forgetting all the other madness for 90 minutes.”
- Mark Hobin / Fast Film Reviews (3/5): “There’s a pivotal moment where the narrative is no longer framed as a saga about a psycho on the loose, but as a plea to limit the use of your car horn. Those are the kinds of preposterous asides that had me amused. You can’t take this story seriously. Nevertheless, it’s very intense and compelling. As a vehicle (get it?) to set your heart rate racing, it’s pretty effective.”
- Matthew Liedke On Film (3/5): “…is a pretty basic stalker/chase film, but it pulls it off nicely. For those who are looking to go to the theater, munch on some popcorn and be entertained, this one is alright.”
- No More Workhorse: “The script of this film is quite flimsy, but that is not the focus of the work. The director, Derrick Borte, in only his sixth film, creates an impressive sense of suspense and terror.”
- Peggy At The Movies (Grade: C+): “Whichever route works for you, I think some will definitely enjoy ‘Unhinged’ for the ride it does take you on and Crowe’s performance as the maniacal “Man” is vicious, ugly and totally believable. Again, no matter which way you go, it will absolutely make you think twice the next time you’re tempted to honk your car horn at someone.”
- Phil The Bear’s Film Reviews: “Pistorious plays the stressed heroine well but this film is all about Crowe’s ferocity. Formerly a leading man and known for his intensity it’s interesting here to see him as an out and out villain. There is little attempt to humanise his “Man” which is the role he is credited with.”
- ruth / Flixchatter (3.5/5): “While it’s not really my type of movie, Unhinged is enjoyable enough. It’s suspenseful, well-paced, and the acting is good. If you’re a fan of dramatic car chases, this one is worth a watch.”
- Screen Zealots (3/5): “Rachel isn’t very street smart, and most of her actions are ridiculously unbelievable. There’s a certain amount of suspension of disbelief that needs to happen when you sit down to watch a stalker flick, but our heroine does some of the dumbest things ever, and half of them make zero sense. If you’re looking for some decent suspense, “Unhinged” will scratch that itch.”
- Tall Writer (2/4): “It would have been nice to balance this thriller with more scenarios that don’t rely on a cell phone or the TV besides the gas station sequence and inevitable showdown near the end. Other obvious flaws like changing the film speed during car chase sequences diminish the film’s effect a bit. Unhinged comes recommended with many reservations”
- Chris / MovieBabble: “It’s certainly no Falling Down, but it doesn’t need to be. Although, it’s not worth endangering your health if you’re considering seeing it in a cinema. The strength ultimately lies in its popcorn entertainment, nothing much more.”
- Drew St. Pierre (4/10): “…is similar to 1993’s Falling Down but without the dark humor. It deserves so much more with little to no surprises and a lack of any subtlety. It can’t be a 2020 release without a Fortnite reference.”
- greigzilla / We’ve Got (Back) Issues: “Simplistic yet dependable, Unhinged may not be worthy enough to get you into the cinemas during these times of social distancing and mask wearing, but for a simple, throwaway psycho-killer movie, it’s good for an undemanding thriller that features an entertaining central performance that’s one Crowe short of a murder…”
- Keeping It Reel: “There are definitely aspects of “Unhinged” that offer hints at some form of commentary on mental health issues and threatened masculinity, but Ellsworth’s story relies more on heightened stereotypical movie character behavior and cliched dialogue, than anything with real substance or meaning. While the uncomfortable and disturbing tone of the movie makes “Unhinged” a palpable success, it is still one that is hard to recommend or consider for repeat viewings.”
- Rachel’s Reviews (3/10): “Sure we live in a society that can be lost in technology and forget the humanity of others, but we also have goodness and compassion demonstrated every day in a thousand different ways (sometimes even on that very technology). No thank you Unhinged and your supposed cautionary tale. No thank you at all!”
- Shawn M / Sci-Fi & Scary: “…feels like a movie that could have come out in 2003. It’s a very stripped down thriller that is elevated by Russel Crowe but follows a very predictable path from A to Z. You don’t need to brave a theatre visit for this one. You can watch it on a rainy Sunday afternoon when there’s nothing else to do, as I’m sure most of us would have done in the original 2020 timeline.”
- What Went Wrong or Right With …? “The biggest issue is there’s nobody to get behind. You don’t sympahise with anyone and you’re not thrilled at any point which makes this movie an engine misfire rather than an ignition that smoothly turns over. It’s quite apt that a Volvo features in this movie because like the Swedish car, Unhinged is also more concerned with people’s safety on the road than style and entertainment.”
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