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Torque (2004)

  Directed by: Joseph Kahn
Written by: Matt Johnson
Starring: Ice Cube, Martin Henderson, Monet Mazur, Matt Schulze
Links: Torque on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 1.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Torque (2004) is also mentioned in mino's review of The Big Hit (1998).

"You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll puque" - a review by mino

One of the very first lines of dialogue uttered in the movie Torque is the age-old, ridiculously-overused cliché ‘we got company!’. That pretty much sums up what you can expect from the rest of the movie; in fact, if anything, it's a high point in filmmaking quality.

It hardly seems worthwhile explaining the plot of Torque, because it doesn't even really exist. There are missing drugs and stolen motorcycles and murder, but none of it matters in the least. The plot is merely a way of stringing together a bunch of totally ludicrous chase scenes and poorly-choreographed fights. I strongly suspect, in fact, that plot was somehow added in after all the dialogue had been written. Indeed, it may well have been added after the film was shot. Or even edited.

I've tried and tried over and over again to think of a good word to use to describe this steaming heap of tripe; alas, I can't. The closest I could get was good old ‘nonsensical’, but it just plain doesn't cut it. This film is woefully, bowel-cancer-inducingly awful.

Really, there's not one single thing at all that's good about Torque. The acting is truly shitful, with the lead actor, Kiwi Martin Henderson, absolutely struggling to show even the tiniest scintilla of charisma or charm in the role of Cary Ford. Of course, he's really not given much to work with, so maybe you need to give the guy a break. I doubt very much that Sir Laurence Olivier could do much with this stinker. Various other terrible performances abound, notably Monet Mazur as Ford's girlfriend, and the shockingly awfully terribly cinema-clearingly-bad Ice Cube as one of the ‘bad guys’. Cube (if I may call him that) turns in possibly the worst performance I've ever seen in a film, his idea of appearing ‘bad ass’ being to say (well… mumble) the word ‘fool’ more times in the space of 90 minutes than you'd hear in a whole weekend at a Mr. T impersonators' convention.

It doesn't help that the entire cast consists of about 40 guys (well, mostly guys) standing around trying to see who can sound most like ‘Ben’ from the Lucas Arts computer game Full Throttle. Honestly, I fully expected them to start saying ‘I'm not putting my lips on that!’.

It's the dialogue, though, that really steals the show — steals it, runs off with it, kills it, weighs it down with cinderblocks and dumps it in a canal. The writers for this movie must have been absolutely as high as kites to write a script including repeated references to ‘the fuzz’ (has anyone ever said that?) and ‘crotch rockets’. (This, of course, assumes that the movie actually had writers, which is possibly a bit of a leap).

Honestly, this movie has the worst dialogue ever. No words utterable by any human tongue in any known language could convey how bad the dialogue in this film is (well… maybe German). This dialogue would cause cancer in rats. I was going to give you an example, but I'm not sure that I won't break the Internet by doing so. In fact, I could only find two examples which manage to convey how crappy the dialogue is, yet are still safe to commit to electronic format without causing some sort of explosion:

“This is Agent Henderson. Don't let her good looks fool you: she's the best agent I have.”


“No two bikes have the same chain wear pattern… because no two sprockets are the same!”

(OK, the latter is borderline. If the internet blows up, it's my fault. Sorry.)

The stunts, while visually very impressive, are so totally ridiculous that you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Obviously, a lot of it's supposed to be tongue-in-cheek digs at similar movies, but really — tongue-in-cheek crap is still crap. I mean, I shit you not, there's a motorcycle chase on top of a moving train, for crissakes. And then, I double-shit you not, there's a motorcycle chase inside a moving train. A moving passenger train. Full of passengers. They chase each other. On motorcycles.

Perhaps Torque is one of those movies that could become a cult classic — like Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958), one of those films you can sit around with and laugh at with friends while getting drunk, one which is actually improved by alcohol. Somehow I doubt it, though, because I fear you would suffer catastrophic liver failure long before this movie actually started seeming even mildly entertaining.

There is entertainment to be had, to be sure, but most of is to be had in fervently cheering for the totally unlikeable gang of heroes to meet a most untimely and gruesomely violent death.

Look, it is theoretically possible that a worse movie could be made than Torque; I'm pretty sure, however, that it would require the use of specially-constructed cameras.

mino gives this movie 1 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 26 Feb 2004

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