Starring Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Jimmi Simpson
Directed by Derrick Borte
If harried working-mother Rachel Flynn, played by the charming Caren Pistorius, had apologized to Tom Cooper after a scuffle in the traffic would he have spared her the traumatic attack? And if she had been spared the attack would we have been spared the ordeal of watching a road-rage actioner which makes us long for lockdowns and vehicle-freed roadways where bicycles replace motorcars and there would be no reason for commuters to honk their horns and blow their tops.
This is as extreme a road-rage drama as it can get with the raging commuter, with serious communication issues, going at his victim’s family with hammers tongs and guns. So relentless is the violence, with every weapon from a gun to a dessert fork being used extensively, that I was left wondering if the film ‘s only raison d’etre is to thrust violent encounters one on top of another until we are no longer sure who is the victim.
Admittedly some portions of the cat-and-mouse chase, for example the one where Cooper accosts Rachel’s lawyer in an eatery pretending to be her friend , are as close to heartsopping as a pulp thriller can get. But most of the time we get the feeling Crowe’s fiendish character is running out of time at our expense.
The car chases at rush-hour are as interesting as they are expected to be with the emphasis on tailing bumpers rather than screeching tyres. But there is something fundamentally erroneous with the plot’s moral equilibrium when the aggressor keeps out-witting the victim to the extent that he infiltrates her home and kills her kin.She finally fells him with a knife plunged into his eye. Road rage gets its comeuppance.
And all this time, what are the cops doing? Why do the wailing sirens take so long to reach and apprehend the lunatic? Russel Crowe as a road rager with serious anger management issues is slimy and psychotic.It’s a long away from home for the actor who played Noah in Noah’s Ark .I wouldn’t want to run into him on the road,or off it.Nor would I want to sit through a film on his hyper-ventilating antics ever again.