Russell Crowe has been praised for a series of bizarre promotional videos for his new film Unhinged, with viewers calling them both “sexy” and “terrifying”.
In Unhinged, Crowe plays a disturbed driver who harasses a single mother following an incident of road rage.
To promote the film as it prepares for its US release, Crowe has unveiled promotional videos in which he appears to remain in character, while mocking an iconic scene from his 2000 film Gladiator.
In one trailer, Crowe holds aloft the mask he wore in the film, and satirises his iconic “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius...” speech.
Crowe says: “My name… is incidental, pointless, of no concern. I am a figment of your nightmares. I am from a reference point deep inside your hidden list of fears. I am rage, past the point of reason. I am unhinged.”
In another, he recites a sweary monologue. “They say there is a catalyst at the heart of the cinema experience, a social contract, a binding dynamic power that lifts the cinematic experience into a realm of intimate connection between the audience and the screen, and the stars in the heavens beyond.
‘They say, ‘Who are they? Some conceited, pretentious f***wads who try to p*** in your pocket and tell you it’s raining.’ Well, f*** that s***. I have a movie coming out. It’s called Unhinged. I’m not f***ing with you. It’s going to be in cinemas. Off you go.”
The videos went viral courtesy of Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright, who called on Crowe to promote every new film in such a fashion.
“On the basis of this trailer for @unhingedmovie, it’s very clear that @russellcrowe should do the marketing for ALL MOVIES going forward. Even Disney Plus ones,” Wright tweeted.
Others joined Wright in praising the videos.
“Bloody hell Russell Crowe is still terrifying,” read one tweet. Another declared: “How does he make less than one minute so unbelievably serious, philosophical, suspenseful, sexy, and funny? He hardly takes a breath and I can’t breathe for at least a moment after.....”
In her review of Unhinged, The Independent’s film critic Clarisse Loughrey called Crowe’s performance “surprising and astonishing”. She also dubbed the film itself “tense, slick and ludicrous”.
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