Torque

Posted on January 13, 2004 at 8:19 pm

C
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Profanity: Strong language for a PG-13
Alcohol/ Drugs: Characters sell drugs, drinking, smoking
Violence/ Scariness: Intense peril and violence, many explosions and crashes, characters killed
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters are strong and loyal
Date Released to Theaters: 2004

Ford (Martin Henderson) comes back to town with a score to settle and a woman to win back, just like a cowboy in an old western. Only in this movie, instead of horses, there are motorcycles, very fast ones.

This movie is one percent dumb plot, 74 percent stunts, and 25 percent attitude, or, rather Hollywood’s idea of what passes for attitude. So, Ford is the kind of guy who wears a Ramones t-shirt and a leather jacket that proclaims “Carpe Diem” (sieze the day). He must be the movie’s hero because he and his pals are so photogenically ethnically diverse that they look like they just stepped out of a Benneton ad.

The woman (Monet Mazur) has Hollywood’s idea of a cool name: Shane, a cool profession: mechanic, and a cool way in a fight. And they all say faux-tough lines like “I know you said it wouldn’t be any fun if it was easy, but does it have to be that much fun?”

The action sequences are silly fun, especially a chase scene that has one motorcycle racing on top of a fast-moving train while another rides through the train cars in between the passengers and a chick fight on motorcyles between Shane and a multi-pierced Jaime Pressly. Ice Cube’s appearance is more presence than performance, and Henderson is all about the dimples. But Fredro Starr makes an impression as Ice Cube’s, well, Fredo equivalent, and Faison Love as a gang member and Adam Scott and Justina Machado as FBI agents hold our interest.

Parents should know that the movie has a lot of violence for a PG-13 including many crashes and explosions, shooting, punching, kicking, and strangulation. Characters are killed. Characters drink, smoke, and use strong language, including the n-word and other epithets. One character gives another the finger. Characters ride in reckless and extremely dangerous ways, often without helmets. The plot centers on drug dealing. There are some sexual references but nothing very explicit. The soft drink product placement is particularly intrusive.

Families who see this movie should talk about why Cary ran away and why he came back. What made Trey change his mind about Ford? Practical-minded families might want to talk about the liberties this movie takes with some of the laws of physics.

Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy the better Biker Boyz and The Fast and the Furious.

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