Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review – Torque (2004)

“I just jumped my bike onto the roof of a moving train. It's amazing what you can do when you have no choice.”

Director: Joseph Kahn
Starring: Martin Henderson, Ice Cube and Monet Mazur
Writer: Matt Johnson

Legends say there is a movie so over the top it has two women using martial arts on each other while riding a motorcycle. Finally finding the legendary Torque I managed to sit down and see if it was gloriously true. Well it was certainly over the top but that does not make it a good movie? Let’s rev the engine and see.

 I can understand what Joseph Kahn is attempting to do with this movie, by taking this movie to ridiculous lengths with its action beats; it’s trying to parody the ridiculous nature of some action movies. Obviously there are parallels to this movie and the Fast and the Furious series. However there is a line of pretending to be bad, and just being plain bad that is too easy to cross with this type of parody movie, and in Torque’s case it crosses the line at 100 miles and hour (or kilo meters for the metric countries).

To be fair I think a lot of the problems might be in the hands of the writer Matt Johnson. This movie brims with cheesiness that might not be as self parodying as the director wanted. While the dialogue is said with tongue in cheek, the action scenes are written as if by a five year old wanting to put it up on screen because it will look cool. We have kung fu on bikes, a chase scene on top of a train, and a motor cycle that breaks the laws of physics. Thanks to the use of bad CGI as well, none of the action scenes have any bite.

So on top of all this we have some seriously bad acting. Martin Henderson comes off not macho enough for a role like this and seemed seriously miscast. Monet Mazur as the love interest Shane, could have been a good role but instead just seems bored. The two main villains played by Matt Schulze and Jaime Pressly try and ham things up a bit, but the movie kind of leaves them lacking. The only good actor in this movie has to be Ice Cube who kind of gets what Kahn wants this movie to be. He is that cliché tough guy character who walks the line between smiling to the audience and playing the role for real. Say Ice Cube is the best actor in this movie is a testament to how bad everything is.

Honestly I don’t have a lot of time for this movie, after I had watched it I felt like I had wasted a lot of my time. I can only extrapolate from this that others who watch it will also find it a waste of their time. Okay that’s not fair, maybe on a bad movie night, this might just be the thing. I can understand what Joseph Kahn was going for, but seriously I can’t recommend this movie to anyone unless they are going for the bad movie night.


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