Unhinged is not a good movie. Sure, there are some intense moments and nicely staged vehicular mayhem, but at its core, it is a vicious, nasty, thoroughly confused film that somehow stars an Academy Award winner in the lead role. Russell Crowe, looking sufficiently grizzled, isn't elevating this material in any way. He grunts his way through this would-be thriller, attempting a southern accent and repeatedly telling his victim, "You need to learn your lesson."
When we first see the Man (as he's billed), he's popping pills and getting up the nerve to break into a house and brutally murder everyone inside before setting it ablaze. This already sets him up as a complete psycho, so the entire premise of some exchanged honks at an intersection setting him off has already unraveled. The impatient driver (Caren Pistorius) has a laundry list of stressful situations (messy divorce, mentally ill mother, money troubles) on top of oversleeping and needing to get her kid (Gabriel Bateman) to school. Their first interaction with Crowe is intense but grows increasingly preposterous as he causes accident after accident trying to threaten her.
A scene at a diner is among the most gruesome things I've seen all year, and is what ultimately leads to the film's absolute ridiculousness. We're supposed to buy that the Man is an opioid-addicted hulk, but also savvy enough to track down his victim's lawyer and pretend to be a cop. There are some vague references to a divorce being his motivation, but he's mostly an unstoppable killing machine, still going on the rampage even after what's sure to be multiple concussions and a bullet wound to the shoulder. This all with the woman he harasses throughout basically scatterbrained until she teams up with her preteen son.
It's at this point that the movie goes from straight-up bad to fun-bad. In fact, this switch makes Unhinged the best fun-bad movie Hollywood has produced since 2009's Obsessed. Like that Beyoncé-led film, it's got some troubling notions about the state of the world and the nature of people. It also has atrocious writing, weak acting, and a violent finale that's an absolute hoot. I don't want to oversell it: This film is mostly awful, but it somehow peaks into something sublimely awful by the third act.
To be clear: you shouldn't go to a theater to see Unhinged, even if there weren't a pandemic right now. Just wait until it's available to rent. Then invite your friends over to mock it properly.