Torque is the most recent of the motor vehicle movies that
started with The Fast And The Furious. This movie starts
with a pair of hotrods racing through the desert at top speed only
to be outstripped by a motorcycle, as if to remind us that bikes
are indeed faster than cars.
Pretty biker boy Ford (Henderson) returns to the States
after a six-month retreat to Thailand to catch up with his girlfriend
Shane (Mazur) and clear his name with FBI agent McPherson
(Scott). Rival biker Henry (Schulze) wants Ford to
turn over $1,000,000 in crystal meth and when Ford doesn’t
he finds himself framed for murder. The rest of the movie is one
big long chase with Ford on the run from the Feds, Henry, and the
Reapers, another biker gang led by Trey Wallace (Ice Cube),
who is the murder victim’s elder brother.
This is Joseph Kahn’s feature film debut and it looks like
he hasn’t got an original idea in his head. Every trick used
in this movie was done in either of the Fast And Furious
movies. Cameras showing internal workings of the car engine?
Check. Artificial tunnel vision whenever fast driving takes place?
Check. Loud music playing while random almost-naked girls parade
round? Yup, he’s got that too. Many of the film’s chases
are either too ludicrous to be interesting or just impossible to
follow due to excessive special effects and jump-cutting.
No one in this picture seems capable of more than one facial expression,
but at least they are consistent. Henderson and Mazur look cute
and spunky; Ice Cube and Schulze look mean and angry. Scott’s
Agent McPherson provides the film’s few comic moments with
his incompetent but zealous law enforcement efforts. Occasionally
the film looks like it might surprise us slipping into parody, but
those moments vanish almost as soon as they appear.
Torque is filled with needless fistfights, scantily clad
women, chrome motorcycle parts, and, of course, chases. This whole
movie has no reason to exist. The only reason this movie garners
its meager half-star rating is because Ice Cube is in the movie
and because one character escapes Hollywood cliché by recommending
they all go to the police to sort things out. Everything about it
has been done and done better within the last two years. Maybe the
bigwigs at Warner Brothers think we all lack the basic ability to
retain plots and therefore will keep paying to see ever-crappier
incarnations of what was an already crappy movie to begin with.
Perhaps Torque was just one last attempt to cash in before
the well went totally dry, but if that is the case it is at least
one movie too many.