Saturday, February 7, 2015

TORQUE (2004)

Directed By: Joseph Kahn 
Written By: Matt Johnson 
Cinematography By: Peter Levy 
Editor: David Blackburn & Howard E. Smith 

Cast: Martin Henderson, Monet Mazur, Dane Cook, Ice Cube, Max Beesley, Adam Scott, John Doe, Jay Hernandez, Christina Milian, Jaime Pressley, Fredro Starr, Eddie Steeples, Will Yun Lee, Faizon Love, Justina Machado

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, 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.

This film stylistically is notable, though really that is one of the few reasons to remember this film. As everything is visually arresting yet over the top and implausible. Worse it's story is ridiculous yet played for all it's worth.

The film is ridiculously stupid, yet manages to keep you entertained by disbelief.

I believe the director realized the film is flimsy and ridiculous and purposely designed the film for attention grabbing visuals then what was in the script. Kind of like a budding Michael Bay. Joseph Kahn at the time was one of the top in demand music video directors. I believe he realizes how silly the film is, but didn't convey it or choose not to let the audience in on the joke.

He seems to worry about the shots first and the actors second as most of them seem to be playing their roles how they want to or according to the wardrobe.

Everything and everyone looks good in their tight outfits. Even the cops dress fashionable. --Adam Scott seems to be one of the few actors who realizes what type of film he is in and takes none of it seriously.

Martin Henderson is a bland lead, who makes all around him seem more colorful, interesting and deep by comparison. Which is a problem when is our lead character.

Ice cube is around as the gang leader seeking revenge and always their as an added threat looming large to the hero who are always on him like a shark.

The film is all style and little substance. Like the plot Is more planned around what shots the director wants more than logic or natural storytelling.

The film plays like a loose remake of THE WARRIORS only on motorcycles.

The film is strange to has non-stop action sequences that never seem to end and are usually over the top, like Michael bay only less expensive and not as big. Also another bay quality is the introduction of humor that doesn't seem to fit and feels awkward.

The film is full of up and comers and slumming character actors. The concept of the film is silly and seems to be made even more ridiculous by the filmmakers.

Joseph Kahn is a director who I would love to see make more films. This with better stronger scripts, he did make a film a few years after this named DETENTION it was similarly scattershot though a had edged teen comedy. Where his style really helped the film set irks tone and made the film come alive as well as be more memorable. That won me over and made me a fan of that film. If not the fun could have been displayed more here.

One element I enjoyed is that the film is very racial. It seems all minority's are represented in The film. Though the villains are an all Caucasian gang. The heroes are a mostly white gang with some minorities in their ranks and ice cube's all black justice seeking gangster gang are more In Between. A dangerous threat, but out for revenge.

Though the film is interracial in it’s gangs. It also seems to imply a kind of race war between the gangs. Though at least the film is more racially integrated then most films these days without calling attention to itself.

It's a fun film as long as you know what to expect and what you are getting into.

Wait for cable

Grade: C-

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