Any of you reading this review that have seen this movie and wanted to hear my thoughts on it, well…welcome back to the movies! It feels good, doesn’t it? Able to finally go back, witness a new story, witness new characters, witness movie magic happening right before your eyes? Theaters closed, since what, mid March? 5 months. Wow. Almost half a year because of a fucking virus that was mishandled by a foreign government, and then mishandled by our own, and now being mishandled by a lot of normal everyday people. The theater going experience was TAKEN from us because of dumb stupid fucking human beings that don’t want to be blamed for anything and just like pointing fingers. It has been HELL for me. Sure, we have gotten a plethora of straight to streaming movies, but other than Palm Springs and Sputnik, have any others really been that special? No. And Netflix has been to blame for most of the garbage I have seen and reviewed. After a couple of push backs because of spikes in COVID-19 positive cases, the movie industry had finally had enough, were finally burnt out of all the bullshit, and with cleaning and safety protocols put in place, have started to open their doors again, virus be damned. Because if you didn’t know, people have families to feed, people need jobs, need money, need to LIVE. I’m not talking about the corporate big wigs that laid off people because of their bottom line bonus at the end of this shitty year, I’m talking about the minimum wage workers who were helpless with this whole matter, and are barely getting by. And if theaters are just going to keep their doors shut until a vaccine is made, well…they might not ever be able to open their doors again. And I know, it isn’t just theaters, but you see my point right? So if you are against theaters reopening right now, go fuck yourself, because they are doing their damn-dest to try and find some sort of compromise. I’ve been going back since late June, seeing free old classics, and I can tell you their cleaning protocols are state of the art. But seeing old movies for free that I own at home wasn’t enough, and Tenet and New Mutants are still a week away, so I decided to go see a new movie this weekend, even if I knew it wasn’t going to be anything special. I decided to go see UNHINGED, a 90 minute film where Russell Crowe hams it up sitting on his ass, whether it be behind the wheel or briefly at a diner, for about 95% of the film’s runtime. Maximus has let himself go ladies and gentlemen (I know, I shouldn’t be talking), but at least he is entertaining as hell while doing so.
There are actually three new movies that came out this weekend, so why didn’t I pick one of the other two, to try and make my trip back to new movies something I wouldn’t forget? Well, because one of them I already saw in a “virtual screening” this past Tuesday, and the other is an overlong 2 hour and 15 minute movie directed by RZA, that’s right, RZA, that is about a heist during Hurrican Katrina, that has already been done before in 2018’s Hurricane Heist, that both got terrible reviews. Plus, who wouldn’t be intrigued by IMDB’s log line description of Unhinged? “After a confrontation with an unstable man at an intersection, a woman becomes the target of his rage. Road rage.” Russell Crowe plays the unstable man and “Not Karen Gillan” Caren Pistorious plays the terrified mother/woman in path. Side note: isn’t it ironic that an actress named Caren kind of acts a little like a “Karen” at first in this movie? Anyway, since us movie nerds know that Russell Crowe doesn’t audition for shit anymore, and that he was handed this role on a silver platter, does he at least act like he wanted to be in this? Absolutely. In fact, watching Russell Crowe act like a pissed off psychopathic maniac road rage murderer is the number one reason I’m recommending that you check out this movie at least once, whether it be while it is still in theaters or if you have the patience to calmly wait until it is on a streaming service you already happen to be subscribed to. Normally, if this film would’ve come out regularly, like any other year, without this butt fucking virus ruining all of our lives, I probably wouldn’t have even seen this film in the theater, especially with the lukewarm reviews it has been getting. I definitely would’ve waited until it hit Netflix or Hulu or a discounted cheap rental on Vudu or Fandango Now. And on any other year, after I had watched this film, it would’ve just received a minor pass from me, entertaining at the moment but ultimately forgettable.
But this is the amuse bouche to Tenet we are talking about here. The marketing team for this movie was smart, they KNEW that they had to be one of the first to put out their product when theaters decided to finally open their asses back up. They new that some movie obsessed nerds, like me, would see about anything as long as it had a wacky premise and was something they hadn’t seen before. And because it is my first new film trip back to the movies, it ultimately won’t end up being forgettable in this unforgettable time in history. In fact, I would watch this again, if only for Crowe’s acting, a couple of “holy shit” car crash moments, and one of the best cheesy ass one liners I’ve ever heard before a gruesome kill in history. In fact, everybody, behind and in front of the camera, does a solid job here. Caren Pistorius, as the mother who lays her hand on her car horn a couple of seconds too many, is great looking like a terrified and screaming her head off individual. Gabriel Bateman, who plays her son, was solid in the new Child’s Play remake, is solid here as well. And Jimmi Simpson, a great character actor, is a bit wasted here, but still decent in the little screen time he has. I’m not familiar with director Derrick Borte’s work, but he shot everything pretty well, especially some of the car chase sequences and subsequent wrecks. If he were to direct a Fast and Furious movie, he could do wonders, and if Universal can’t ever find a director, give an unknown like him a shot. Writer Carl Ellsworth, now his work I’m familiar with. He wrote Wes Craven’s cool little thriller Red Eye, and Shia LaBeouf’s cool little thriller Disturbia back in the day. He knows how to write short little movies that get to the point and don’t waste your time. Unhinged is no different. It’s short, entertaining, and doesn’t waste a second of your time. In fact, Unhinged might make you remember and think back on it as you rethink some of your actions while behind the wheel. You never know if a really pissed off Fat Maximus is in the chariot next to you.
P.S., Side Note, whatever: At the very beginning of the movie, a younger couple moved down from their high up seats and sat one row above and near me for some reason. They started to talk and I let them for about a minute before sternly turning my head around and asking them to not ruin the movie for me with their commentary. I think they were scared and they shut up for the rest of the film. What in your right God damn mind would make you think it is okay to move to unassigned social distancing seats during a fucking pandemic, sit near someone who is by themselves, and start to talk during a movie called Unhinged that is about a guy that basically gets pissed off and murderous because of a little, rude disturbance? I was about to tell them that I didn’t wait five months to see a new movie in the theater to have little rat fuck millennial assholes disturb and ruin it all for me. Come on people, stay home if you want to talk (or text) during something. Leave the theater going experiences for those that can respect the rules and that actually want to be there because they have missed it so.