Torque

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“Torque” is a guy movie, made by guys, full of guys (and some hot babes), and following a guy’s idea of what constitutes a logical progression of events. In the video-game-addled mind of your average guy, it makes perfect sense for every disagreement to culminate in a fight, followed immediately by a motorcycle chase. There is so much testosterone in this film that any woman who watches it will come out of it with a hairy chest and a favorite football team.

So it’s a stupid film, about California motorcycle gangs and drug smuggling and all that, but is it fun? Yes and no. The race sequences are loud, fast and sharply edited, and first-time director Joseph Kahn and cinematographer Peter Levy manage some pretty nifty camerawork. The whole thing feels like the 21st-century offspring of music videos, beer commercials and porn, and I’m sure you understand that in the right context, such offspring can be highly enjoyable.

Unfortunately, the people talk when they’re not racing, and those parts are boring and silly. Our hero is Ford (Martin Henderson), who six months ago left the country because the FBI was after him for a huge pile of drugs that weren’t his but he knew they wouldn’t believe him. Now that the heat is off, he’s back, trying to patch things up with the girlfriend (Monet Mazur) he left behind without explanation.

However, the real owner of the drugs, gang leader Henry (Matt Schulze), wants to know where Ford hid them, especially considering he hid them in some of Henry’s motorcycles; drugs and bikes have been missing for half a year now, and Henry’s MAD!!!!

Also mad is the leader of another gang, Trey (Ice Cube), whose brother was killed by Henry, though Henry made it look like Ford did it, thus putting Ford on the run from the feds AND Trey AND Henry.

Oh, but it’s all so silly. While it’s chock-full of style (and nothing else), it lacks the pizzazz to elevate it from tedious action film to giddy adrenaline rush. Every performance except Ice Cube’s is flat, and there is no wit in the dialogue. It’s just filler between chase scenes, and filler gets old after a while.

C- (1 hr., 20 min.; PG-13, a lot of mid-level profanity, some violence.)

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