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Torque

Torque is one of the silliest, most braindead, and outright dumb movies to come from the makers of such classics as XXX, The Fast and the Furious, and 2 Fast 2 Furious. And frankly, I don’t think it ever wanted to aspire to be anything more than those films. From the obvious one-liners after a fight scene to the total disregard of the laws of science and physics, Torque obviously knows how stupid it is and doesn’t really care.

The story, of what little there is, focuses on a good-hearted biker who stores a couple of motorcycles at the request of soon-to-be-villain, Henry. The bikes are stored in a shop which the good biker’s girlfriend owns, so when he discovers them to be filled with crystal meth he takes them and leaves for Asia. He does this so the girl won’t be targeted by the FBI agent who eventually begins investigating the crime.

Henry, of course, wants his drugs back, so when the good biker returns after a long hiatus he is commanded to pony up the goods. When this doesn’t happen, Henry frames his rival for the murder of a gang member named Junior. Now the FBI is after our hero, along with the gang (known as The Reapers) who runs with Henry.

The opening sequence of Torque seems to be a vague symbol of how this latest movie leaves previous films like The Fast & Furious in the dust. Two cars race along a dirt road, utilizing the F&F gimmick of powering up the engines so they ride at insane speeds. But then our hero arrives on his bike, zips past them easily, and later beats the pulp out of the drivers. It may not be the most creative way to open a movie, but it works.

The rest of Torque basically throws stuff at the screen to see what will draw in the young, male, horny crowd. We get multiple shots of a Bike Wash where bikini clad ladies drink from water hoses and lean over to wipe tail pipes. Obvious? Yes. But like I said, no one expected subtlety from Torque. We also get rap music out the wazoo, which the kids seem to like these days, and much, much more.

One character who kept my friend and I in stitches was a woman who had all of about 5 lines and spent almost all of her screentime licking her lips seductively. At some point it just became hilarious, as EVERY shot she’s in features a lip licking moment. Talk about an easy acting job!

I was surprised when one of my favorite comedians, Dane Cook, made a small cameo as a dorky bike owner who gets a big dose of real biker life from the villains of the film. While not exactly rib busting, his appearance was a nice touch and helped me to realize this wasn’t meant to be a “serious” actioneer.

Another thing I can’t help but mention are the rampant product plugs in Torque. I love product plugs, because they’re never small but rather in your face and almost pathetically obvious. Whether it be a character chowing down on a bag of Dorritos (with the label aimed RIGHT at the camera) or the two main girls of the film posing in front of HUGE Mountain Dew and Pepsi billboards, Torque truly delivers in shameless commercialism. I especially enjoyed the billboard scene, because I could pretend like each girl stood for a certain brand of drink and thus were battling it out over who was more delicious. Turns out Mountain Dew wins (spoiler, I know).

Sure, there are a few problems, like how (more SPOILERS) the FBI agent turns out to be in league with Henry and his band of villainous bikers. That came out of no where and made absolutely no sense. It felt like the film just needed a twist so the director simply threw that in for kicks. Some scenes were so quickly edited that I had no idea what was going on, especially the final showdown where badly animated CGI bikers zip down city streets at about 6,000 mph, shattering every glass surface in the process.

Finally, I’d like to note my favorite sequence in terms of pure insanity. Our hero is being chased by the leader of The Reapers, so he conveniently spots a ramp which allows him to jump on top of a train! Then when the bad guy gets on the train, our hero breaks down the door and goes INSIDE the freaking train, managing to not run over a single person. Hmm, sure, okay. Also, I loved how the two girls used their motorcycles as weird pseudo-swords. It was almost like biker kung-fu, and you have to see it to laugh as hard as I did.

So yeah, Torque is dumb, and I can barely recall most of the character’s names (hence the usage of such terms as Good Biker and Evil Biker). But it’s harmless fun in a month where almost everything is worse, so don’t feel bad if you plunk down the money to see this silly flick.

Now I just have to watch Biker Boyz and see how bad that film is…or not.

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