Movie Review

Torque

"From the producers of The Fast and the Furious, xXx, and S.W.A.T."
(1)
Torque Movie Poster

US Release Date: 01/16/2004

Directed by:Joseph Kahn

Starring

Average Stars:
Reviewed on: January 12th, 2004
Martin Henderson in Torque.

Martin Henderson in Torque.

Torque is one of those movies that is aimed at a certain audience, critics be damned. It is meant to appeal to today's adrenaline loving teenage pop-culture masses, in particular the male element. It is a fast, violent and loud amusement park ride of a movie. It is also incredibly bad. It has a rickety plot, godawful dialogue and amatuerish acting. The cheesy special effects are completely unbelievable. The only genuine emotion conveyed throughout the entire movie is a rather dull rage loudly underscored by a relentless succession of angry songs. Not a single character in this appallingly bad movie appears to be anything more than a one dimensional cardboard caricature. On a positive note the filmakers were kind enough to keep it mercifully short; the movie runs less than ninety minutes.

Biker Cary Ford (Martin Henderson from The Ring) returns from a self-imposed exile in Thailand (actually he was wrongly accused of drug smuggling by the FBI but who cares?) in order to reunite with his old flame, biker chick Shane (Monet Mazur), and to exact revenge on a rival biker gang leader. This rival leader, an all around angry dude, frames Ford for murder and soon Ford is being chased by the FBI as well as by Trey Wallace (Ice Cube) the older brother of the murder victim and the leader of yet another rival biker gang. The entire movie is really just an excuse to showcase scene after scene of souped-up motorcycles doing impossible stunts. At one point there is a bike chase scene that includes a race along the top of, and even inside, a moving train. The actors (with the exception of Ice Cube who looks embarrassed at the horrible dialogue he is forced to say) look like cranked-up fashion models with bad hygiene and act on a par with second rate daytime soap stars.

As the movie progresses the action keeps going farther and farther over the top until it eventually begins to resemble a video game more than a movie. Ironically the many teenagers in the theater were cheering along with gusto throughout the entire movie, applauding when it was over. I felt like applauding too but for a completely different reason.

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Reviewed on: January 12th, 2004
Ice Cube in Torque.

Ice Cube in Torque.

Torque is one of the funniest unintentional comedies that I have ever seen. It is so awful that it's hilarious. Throughout most of the movie, I kept thinking, "I can't believe they actually just did that!" The actors say their lines so seriously and some how with a straight face. As a movie, it makes a great video game.

The trend for more and more computer generated special effects has been growing for the past couple of years now and Torque is the ultimate example of CGI overkill. In an action movie such as this, you have to feel that at some point the characters are in danger, otherwise what's the point? But here that is impossible since the action is so unbelievable. When two characters can conduct a fist fight on side-by-side motorcycles going 200mph on a busy Los Angles street and still find time to dodge cars and do 360 degree flips in midair without ever losing control of their bikes, you have to either laugh at the audacity of the filmmakers or simply groan in embarrassment.

What's truly amazing about this movie is that five people take credit for the screenplay! Somehow five people (six if you count the director who's equally, if not more, to blame) thought that this was a good idea for a movie. It should come as no surprise to anyone that it is also the first screenplay for all of these writers, as well as the directorial debut for Joseph Kahn. Let's hope it's also their last.

As for the cast, as Patrick wrote, only Ice Cube seems marginally aware of the crap he is spouting. Henderson, in the lead, does his tough guy act with oblivious gusto, but I did find Mazur appealing as his girlfriend. Although why such a seemingly sweet, and clean, woman would be constantly hanging out in biker gang dive bars is never really explained. She also gets one of the funniest scenes with her motorcycle duel with the evil biker chick. Of course their gravity defying, acrobatic fight is played straight, but it still made me laugh.

It's a little early to name the worst movie of 2004, but Torque has an early lead for the title.

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Reviewed on: October 30th, 2013
Two men jealous of each others crotch rockets.

Two men jealous of each others crotch rockets.

Wow, what a horrible, horrible film. The stunts and action scenes in this film belong more in a parody than a serious plot. The characters seem more suited to a cartoon. Nothing about this film had the least amount of sincerity.

It begins with the “hero” of the film acting like a douche bag by beating up two pissed off guys that he nearly killed by riding them off the side of the road. The “bad guy” tries to make a drug deal with Ice Cube, who is not receptive to the offer. Later that day, Ice Cube’s brother is murdered. The “bad guy’s” girlfriend claims she saw the “hero” do it and Ice Cube believes her? You just disappointed a gang leader, who is a known felon and you accept the word of his girlfriend that someone else did it?

Ice Cube then collects his gang and goes after the “hero” and his friends. Luckily, Ice Cube is psychic and knows exactly what road in all of California the “hero” is going down, even though the “hero” has hours of a head start on them.  The race on the train is stupid. Not just because of how unbelievable it is but because the “hero” exits the train first, just before the train is about to cross a bridge. All he had to do is turn his bike and head back for his girlfriend while Ice Cube got carried further away. Of course, this “hero” is too stupid to simply do that.

Later, the “hero” drives a hot rod out of the back of a truck, knowing fully well that someone just opened that door and by driving the car out so quickly could likely kill them. This leads to a scene where the “hero” and Ice Cube finally talk; the “hero’s” big explanation is that, “I didn’t kill Jr.” To which Ice Cube responds, “If you didn’t kill him, who did?” Seriously Ice Cube, are you not paying attention?

As my brothers wrote, the writing is a laughing embarrassment. The “twist” reveal scene is a lousy punch line to a joke that took far too long to tell. The dialogue is the only thing to rival the awfulness of the plot. “You want some of this, bitch?” “Oh I thought you‘d never ask.” “You messed with the wrong chick.” “Looks like you did bitch.” The main writer given credit, or blame, for this mess was Matt Johnson, whose also wrote the ridiculous Into the Blue (2005).

If I have not convinced you yet about just how bad this movie truly is, then this will. My favorite part of the entire film was Dane Cooks cameo. That is correct. Dane Cook is the best part of this film. If that does not speak volumes about how pathetic this movie is, nothing else possibly could.

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