Torque

"Weak"

Torque Review


The tagline on the poster for Torque says nothing about motorcycles. It simply reads: "From the Producer of The Fast and the Furious, XXX, and S.W.A.T."

And a brand is born.

Torque, a ridiculous yarn about biker gangs in California's high desert, bears all the absurd CGI-enhanced action, groaner dialogue, and gash-ridden plots of Neal H. Moritz's aforementioned prior productions, but for the first hour at least, it almost works. Sadly, the final act then disintegrates into a spine-rattling mess of crashes, gun blasts, detonations, and "How the hell did they survive that?"

The striking Martin Henderson (previously seen being stalked by a TV phantom in The Ring) credibly pulls off the hero role as Clay "Ford" Ford, an independent biker who returns to the Mojave sands after hiding from the FBI in Thailand for six months. Ford has come back to rekindle the romance with his girlfriend Shane (the alluringly-named Monet Mazur), a bike repair goddess who took the brunt of Ford's flight from the law. Ford also hooks up with his two buddies (Will Yun Lee and crazy/beautiful's Jay Hernandez) to settle the score with a bad-ass named "Henry James" (no, really), the drug-smuggling leader of the Hellions gang.

Meanwhile, Ford's also gotten on the wrong side of Trey (Ice Cube), boss of the Reapers, an all-black gang from L.A. When Henry James sets up Ford for the murder of Trey's little brother, our tribe of good guys (and gal) go on the lam from the Reapers, the Hellions, and two highly unconventional FBI agents in a Hummer.

From the opening shot, first-time director Joseph Kahn - who cut his teeth making music videos, natch - lets the movie's inner comic book take over. Where it works - the leathery costumes, the off-road pursuits, the slick staging, the motorcycle fu - it really works, often brilliantly. Where it fails - the beyond-reason gunfights at 200 mph, the failure of people to die from bullets, explosions, and violent crashes - it feels like a very special episode of The A-Team, and not just because Ice Cube seems to be channeling Mr. T for the better part of the flick.

Cube, now shockingly 15 years removed from NWA, may not have been the best casting choice for the role of Trey. After playing good guys for the past decade of his film career, including complicated and sensitive roles in Three Kings and Barbershop, his performance lacks the menace of his younger days in Raiders gear.

But Cube seems like Olivier-as-Hamlet compared to the casting of Jaime Pressly as China, Henry's gothy, violence-fetishist girlfriend. Pressly, her supermodel looks adorned with biker tats and face piercings, barely speaks but spends so much time licking her glossed lips that her tongue should demand its own agent.

What's worse are the repeatedly guffaw-inducing product placements, including a battle of "PEPSI" vs. "MOUNTAIN DEW" that distracts from Shane's inevitable bad-girl-fight with China. Oh yeah, also the main character is named "Ford," and all the non-motorcycle vehicles are manufactured by... one guess.

Perhaps the only real accomplishment of Torque is the establishment of Henderson as a credible action lead. He reveals Paul Walker, star of the Furious vehicles, for the 90210 reject he really is.

But sadly, there's a movie going on around Henderson, and it's just another PG-13 violence-and-cleavage flick, formulated to bring in young, multiethnic male audiences. If you miss this one, don't feel too bad. There'll be another in about five weeks.

And hey, it's on DVD now, with two commentary tracks ("actor" and "technical") and two storyboard/final cut comparisons. The usual music videos and trailers can also be found on the disc.

All revved up and nowhere to go.



Torque

Facts and Figures

Run time: 84 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th January 2004

Box Office USA: $21.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $21.2M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 23%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 89

IMDB: 3.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Neal H. Moritz,

Starring: as Cary Ford, as Trey, as Shane, as FBI Agent McPherson, as Henry James, as China

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Advertisement
Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.