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Torque
2004 - PG-13 - 81 Mins.
Director: Joseph Kahn
Producer: Neal H. Moritz, Brad Luff
Written By: Matt Johnson
Starring: Martin Henderson, Ice Cube, Monet Mazur, Jay Hernandez, Will Yun Lee, Matt Schulze, Adam Scott, Justina Machado, Jaime Pressly
Review by: Carl Langley
   

Barbershop is a classic compared in The Ring, cracka!
Torque is not my cup of tea and neither were the other high-octane four and two wheel boosts that ventured their way into theaters. Like Biker Boyz, last year’s motorcycle flick, Torque follows in the tire tracks off The Fast and the Furious and reaps off the benefits. Unlike Biker Boyz, this film is fast-paced, insanely asinine, and unworried of the paper-thin plot and character development. The film is aware of its stupidity and worthlessness and is very unapologetic about it, and with a pint-sized running length, it never slows down. This makes it respectable in its own sense and tolerable for a measly 81 minutes.

But the film does not deserve too much credit. Well-known music video director Joseph Kahn directs the film, which marks as his film debut, and he impressively handles things with skill. But Kahn speeds through the entire way, never slowing down or looking back. At times, one could wonder if he was on speed when directing this film; it would explain a lot. Kahn and producer Neal H. Moritz, who was the head honcho behind the aforementioned four-wheel igniter, are so intent on fascinating its viewers with denying the laws of physics and showing PG-13 T&A, they resort to recycling certain material from the plot of its inspiration. It is a wonder there was even a screenplay.

For whatever its value is, here is the plot: a braggadocio biker named Ford (Martin Henderson from The Ring) returns to his hometown from Thailand, where he hid for six months from the five-o and Henry James (Matt Schulze). Henry James – more fit for western name than a bad dude on a hog – wants revenge because Ford stole his bikes which concealed one million dollars worth of crystal meth. To persuade Ford to give up the drugs, James frames him for the murder of Trey’s (laughably played by Ice Cube) brother. Now Ford is on the run with his girlfriend (Monet Mazur) and two sidekicks (Jay Hernandez and Will Yun Lee) from two nasty biker gangs. Oh, and the FBI (Adam Scott and Justina Machado) are not throwing him a welcome home party either.

Even though Torque features a rudimentary storyline, it manufactures some pulse-quickening action sequences. Being chased by three different groups who want blood can cause some intense scenes – from being chased in a severely wooded area to a one on one pursuit on top of a train, which even leads inside the passenger area! And for dessert, we are treated with a video-game-style finale that is reminiscent of the Road Rash days for Sega Genesis.

I am not going to recommend this movie to anyone because it is a film that requires you to accept its nonsense. Some viewers cannot handle too much absurdity and others can just sit back and enjoy what it is worth. Torque could never go past mediocre, but sometimes mediocre is mildly entertaining; especially when the mediocre know they cannot get any better and do the best with what they can. Unless you are a die-hard turbo maniac and just feed off of cheep thrills of the absurdly imaginative high speed chases, Torque is not worth the price of admission. If you were one of the few that appreciated 2 Fast 2 Furious for every cinematic frame it proudly flaunted, then Torque is exactly what you are looking for – only more.
 
Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

 
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