a critiQal film review Torque (2004)

  • DVD
  • Vudu

Plot: When Ford (Henderson) returns to town looking for his old girlfriend Shane (Mazur). bike gang leader, Henry (Schulze), looking for revenge, frames Ford for the death of the brother of rival bike gang leader Trey (Cube). Now, Ford has to prove his innocence as fast as he can - before he winds up dead.

Reviewed
620 words (Est. Reading Time 3m 6s)
  • ...while unoriginal and full of awful dialogue, this film has 2 things going for it: good special effects...and it's only 81 minutes long.

Ah, another biker movie, this one from the “geniuses” that brought us such classic “craptastrophes” as The Fast and the Furious (2001) and xXx (2002). Gee, how could it not be good? Ha ha.

So why did Heather and I rent it? Basically, I wanted to see it, and she went along. Why did I want to see it? Two reasons: Ice Cube and Biker Boyz (2003). After surprising the heck out of most people with his great performance in Boyz n the Hood (1991), Ice Cube has kind of dropped from the spotlight. He’s made smaller films with less hoopla (like John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars), and I wanted to see if he was still able to act, or if he’s now passed his prime.

Okay, so why Biker Boyz (2003)? Simple. I thought that would suck, and it turned out decently. If that film could come out much better than I thought, shouldn’t I give the next bike movie the same benefit of the doubt? So with that, we rented Torque.

The acting was a little bit fake. I just don’t know how else to put it. The actors all seemed to be trying a bit too hard, yet even with that, they still couldn’t quite pull off their characters.

The two main characters in the movie, played by Martin Henderson and Monet Mazur (two no names in other words), seemed mostly uninspired throughout most of the film. The actors seemed like they had just learned their lines, and had yet to put much feeling behind them.

Ice Cube, on the other hand, didn’t have much of a role, so even on his best day he wouldn’t have been able to do much with it. Most of it just required him to sit around and scowl. It was pretty obvious that he was brought in just to have a recognizable name in the film – but unlike Laurence Fishburne’s role in Biker Boyz (2003), they then wasted the opportunity to give him a decent role.

The plot took a bit from The Fast and the Furious (2001) and from Biker Boyz (2003), even stealing a scene or two from each (two cars drag racing from The Fast and the Furious (2001), bike wash from Biker Boyz (2003)).

The plot did keep with it’s original idea throughout, but the lack of character depth really brought the film down. The dialogue, with a few exceptions (Ford: “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time”; Shane’s response: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” I second that!) also dragged the movie down. Most of it was just the same old, same old that we’ve seen a thousand times before. Not too exciting – but at least not as bad as The Transporter (2002)!

The special effects, on the other hand, were original and exciting. From bikes swerving straight at the camera to a ride atop a speeding train to trying to portray what things look like at 200 mph, the special effects really were the highpoint of the film. Now if they had only tried to make the rest of the film as spectacular as the effects!

All in all, Torque is the ugly stepchild of The Fast and the Furious (2001) and Biker Boyz (2003). It’s mostly unoriginal, with mainly boring dialogue and the lack of character depth wastes any acting talent the actors may have. But, on the other hand, the special effects are incredible and original, and the movie is only 81 minutes long.

It’s a decent Friday night movie, with the popcorn and soda that accompanies that – and a better movie as a follow-up. To get the most out of this film, rent Torque and Biker Boyz (2003), and watch Torque first.

You won’t be that impressed, but it will get you hyped to see Biker Boyz (2003) – plus, the special effects are fun.

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