Reviewed by: David Stanners

Take The Fast And The Furious, knock two wheels off the machines, cross it with FHM magazine, inject a ridiculous dose of raging testosterone and somewhere along the line you'll find Torque. If you're into big boisterous bikes and scantily clad chicks, airbrushed onto your screen, this would almost do. Well, if you're under 14, male and into FHM, that is.

In between the 1000cc revs, the squeaking leather and the speed-induced adrenalin rushes, a plot lurks. Cary Ford (Martin Henderson) is accused of stealing a gang's super bikes before fleeing the country to Thailand. When he returns, he is subsequently framed for the murder of Trey's (Ice Cube) brother Junior (Fredro Starr). In between all this, his woman (Monet Mazur), a hot biker and aficionado of tight leathers, is hacked off at him for leaving unannounced. Well, she says that, but underneath the angry girl power veneer, is a soft-centred blonde, desperate to get back in his pants. Meanwhile, a couple of FBI agents have been sent along to rumble the gang and solve the murder.

The odd twist attempts to sex up an obvious plot, but doesn't quite make it. Dialogue is monosyllabic and trite.

"You've spent too long in Chinkland," shouts one of the gang to Ford.

OK, so the writing isn't verging on this year's Booker Prize short list, but plot, dialogue, characters and every other normal ingredient take a back seat. This is a switch off, mind glide affair that tries to live on an 81-minute adrenaline rush. Unfortunately, even this doesn't make the grade and the frisson soon fades.

Some of the stunts and chases are exciting, but nothing new. The climax relies on CGI enhancements and considering what Peter Jackson and Co. have shown the world, Torque is well and truly relegated to the minor leagues.

Two decades on and Hollywood is waxing lyrical over adrenaline hits, such as Top Gun and Days Of Thunder. Not only this, it is fusing them with dumbed down scripts and cheesy one-liners that the likes of Schwarzenegger, Van Damme and Lundgren pulled off in an era that found them strangely acceptable. But then these characters were bona fide larger than life action men, who both reflected and created the spirit of the times.

Torque has no star status, other than Ice Cube, and where our Eighties protagonists performed miracles with their bare biceps, the new kids on the block rely on the help of CGI.

The result is more torpor than torque.

Reviewed on: 04 Mar 2004
Share this with others on...
Torque packshot
A two-wheel adrenaline rush, with raging testosterone, tight leathers and CGI.
Amazon link

Director: Joseph Kahn

Writer: Matt Johnson

Starring: Martin Henderson, Ice Cube, Monet Mazur, Matt Schulze, Fredro Starr, Adam Scott, Justina Machado, Jay Hernandez, Will Yun Lee, Jaime Pressly

Year: 2004

Runtime: 81 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


Search database:

If you like this, try:

The Fast And The Furious