Biker Cary Ford is framed by an old rival and biker gang leader for the murder of another gang member who happens to be the brother of Trey (Ice Cube), leader of the most feared biker gang ...
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Biker Cary Ford is framed by an old rival and biker gang leader for the murder of another gang member who happens to be the brother of Trey (Ice Cube), leader of the most feared biker gang in the country. Ford is now on the run trying to clear his name from the murder with Trey and his gang looking for his blood. Written by
EL TORO 79
Released in 2004, "Torque" cost $40 million and only made a little over half back at the USA box office. It's therefore not a very well-known film, but its gained a hardcore cult following in the years since. After viewing it I can see why.
I thought it was going to be terrible, but it was actually great! The action goods are all there, but five minutes into it I got the joke and was laughing with it and not at it. I don't think "Torque" will appeal to everyone, but it will get two types for sure: action gearheads who just want a solid uncomplicated action picture, and smart viewers who can appreciate clever filmmaking and the in-jokes threaded throughout.
I fall under the second bracket since I generally loathe mindless action flicks. What takes "Torque" beyond mindless physics-defying action is pointed out above: the film is cleverly made and filled with hilarious in-jokes. Director Joseph Kahn has a history in flashy music videos and this comes across on the screen. It's pure eye-candy from beginning to end with all manner of entertaining tidbits, like the brief close-up of the turtle between the racing cars at the very beginning.
The look & vibe is pure comic book come to life. Every shot, facial expression, action scene, confrontation, word, set, pose, etc. reflects this. The bikes are mostly crotch rockets but there are all kinds. The guys are coolness personified and the girls are hotness incarnated. The cast is highlighted by Martin Henderson as the worthy protagonist and Monet Mazur as his babe. Ice Cube is great as the leader of a black gang, while Matt Schulze and Jaime Pressly play the villains. There are also a couple of FBI agents in the mix.
The cinematography is gorgeous, shot in the desolate regions of S. California.
The film takes no prisoners at a brief 84 minutes. This is good since films of this ilk shouldn't overstay their welcome.
Believe it or not, there's actually some depth to the characters and storyline; we see glimpses of courage, love, friendship, repentance, respect, sacrifice and loyalty. If they would have upped the depth and offered some moving epic parts I would have easily given the film a top rating of 9/10 Stars.
But it works fine as is. It is what it is -- perhaps the ultimate cult action film ever made, pulsating with energy, creativity and excitement.
GRADE: B+ or A-
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