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Russell Crowe stars in Unhinged.

Skip Bolen/Courtesy of VVS

  • Unhinged
  • Directed by Derrick Borte
  • Written by Carl Ellsworth
  • Starring Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman
  • Classification 14A; 93 minutes

rating

1.5 out of 4 stars

Sure, get the actor who threw a phone at a hotel clerk to play the lead in a psychological thriller about a road-raged nutter.

In Unhinged, one more film about a white guy who goes berserk, Australian he-man Russell Crowe plays a beefy, bearded middle-ager who violently ignores a restraining order by killing his ex-wife and blowing up her house in the film’s very first scene. He’d been unwell since getting fired just short of his pension.

It’d be nice to say Unhinged is something like Falling Down, in which Michael Douglas’s character, beset by hopelessness and a frustration with society, is pushed into a sort of madness. Unhinged tries for that kind of nuance, but the attempt is unconvincing.

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After an insignificant traffic incident involving a single mother (Caren Pistorius) and her young son (Gabriel Bateman), Crowe’s maniac sets about on a path of gory murder and chaos, all in name of giving that woman a “bad day” she won’t soon forget. The thin premise is just an excuse for an ultra-violent film. Worse, with the final scene, the suggestion is made that all the mayhem was the woman’s fault.

Unhinged falls down in the worst ways possible.

Unhinged opens in theatres on Aug. 14.

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