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movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Torque

Starring: Ice Cube, Martin Henderson
Director: Joseph Kahn
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 94 Minutes
Release Date: January 2004
Genres: Action, Sports

*Also starring: Monet Mazur, Matt Schulze, Jaime Pressly, Faizon Love, Will Yun Lee

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Out of curiosity, I looked up the dictionary definition of the word "torque": a twisting or wrenching effect or movement exerted by a force acting at a distance on a body. Not a bad description of this absurd saga of a fugitive biker who claims, "I live a quarter mile at a time."

Set in Barstow, California, the story revolves around Cary (Martin Henderson), who has "carpe diem" stitched on the chest of his leather jacket. He's spent six months in Thailand on the lam from both the F.B.I., personified by Agent McPherson (Adam Scott) in a black government HUMV, and Henry (Matt Schultze), the menacing, drug-dealing leader of the Hellions, who had left a couple of cycles loaded with crystal-meth in Cary's care before his hasty departure. He's also not popular with the Reapers, particularly Trey (Ice Cube), who thinks Cary killed his kid brother. That's not true, of course, since our hero was framed by Henry. And then there's Shane (Monet Mazur), the sexy blonde biker mechanic who scraps with Henry's multi-pierced girl-friend (Jaime Pressly). Somehow, it all gets sorted out amidst fights, flips and a high-speed chase with one rider atop a speeding train while the other zooms down the aisles of the passenger cars.

Credit the fast paced murder and mayhem to first-time feature-film director, Joseph Kahn who, predictably, graduated from music videos. At least Kahn and novice screenwriter Matt Johnson have a sense of humor and don't take themselves or their bikers too seriously. Not even the CGI-stunts ring true. On the other hand, Martin Henderson is an amiable hunk, evoking memories of Kurt Russell/Brad Pitt. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Torque" is a vibrating, mind-numbing 3. It's a low-budget rip-off of "Biker Boyz" and "The Fast and Furious."

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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