A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features TV Club Sponsored Trailer
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios





Community Grade (5 Users)

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade


Torque's title refers to the force with which an object rotates on an axis. For a film so comically straightforward, it's not a particularly apt name, but there's already a movie called Speed, and Yet Another Fast And The Furious Knockoff might not have fit on a poster. The feature debut of music-video director Joseph Kahn, Torque plunges audiences into a subculture with seemingly unlimited access to racing gear, motorcycle parts, and, presumably, wind-resistant hair products. Kahn keeps the film fast, loud, and dumb. When a chase puts its participants atop a train, he moves the camera (or its CGI equivalent) from the roof through the car itself, and back again. When hero Martin Henderson takes off his helmet, it makes a "whooshing" sound usually associated with jets. When he sums up his philosophy, it's "I live my life a quarter mile at a time." Any film about a fugitive biker who returns to clear a name smeared by drug-dealing baddies led by a character named "Henry James" probably should be loud, fast, and dumb, but it shouldn't be this embarrassing to watch. Seldom seen without his "Carpe Diem"-emblazoned jumpsuit, Henderson is a pretty sorry hero who makes his way through one action scene after another protected by little more than a smirk. The film smirks with him: Torque has a sense of humor about itself, but the laughs stick in the throat. It takes an unhealthy lack of shame, for example, to stage a cycle showdown by lining the two opponents up in front of not one, but two billboards advertising Pepsi products. As for the action, it's a weird mix of impressive-but-familiar stunt work and less-impressive CGI effects. By the time Torque concludes with a chase so phony-looking that it might as well take place in Who Framed Roger Rabbit's Toontown, it's clear that the 2004 film year has nowhere to go but up.