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  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jan

from Film Forum, 01/22/04

Martin Henderson and Ice Cube star in Torque, the latest adrenalin rush for speed lovers. In the tradition of—or should we say, "in the bad habit of"—The Fast and the Furious, Joseph Kahn's movie follows a biker named Ford on his quest to reunite with his girlfriend and to settle a score. But a nefarious drug dealer wants to get some expensive motorcycles back from the prodigal biker. When Ford refuses to play along, he finds himself in a fast-paced fight for his life.

Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) says, "Sadly, this genre is limited to rebellious heroes and stories that prefer their curves on the female form than on plotline structure. So while there is much eye candy in this action category, there's as much substance as in a mound of cotton candy. With its fast pacing, rapid editing … and weightless premise, Torque is like an MTV video on steroids."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) asks, "Who knew that it would be possible to 'dumb down' 2 Fast 2 Furious? Don't look to the acting. There's nothing there to see. Please don't look to the screenplay. It is an embarrassment of the first order. If there is one redeeming feature to this film, its the relatively short length (approximately 81 minutes)."

Bruce Donaldson (Movieguide) is disappointed that "the key 'stunts' are animated." He also criticizes the "simple story, undirected/uninspired acting, and the patented use of girlie-eye candy."

Annabelle Robertson (Crosswalk) says the movie is "a visual thrill. The film's overt message—that we must do what's right, even if that costs us relationships and freedom—is a good one. But the means portrayed to get to that goal aren't very wise."

Anne Navarro (Catholic News Service) calls it "sleek but completely vacuous. In going for a cheap buzz, Kahn has stripped the film of a particular tension that convinces audiences that real danger lurks around that hairpin turn, which is where the thrill lies. With soap-opera names like Ford and Shane, the characters are every bit as artificial as the dopey dialogue that bloats the film."

Mainstream critics are throwing tomatoes here.

from Film Forum, 01/29/04

Reviewing Torque, Loren Eaton (Plugged In) says the fast-paced biker movie "is one of those films that really gets you thinking—about how sloppy it is. Why would a major motion picture studio create such an obviously and obnoxiously flawed work? Because large numbers of 24-going-on-12-year-old males always seem willing to shell out $7.50 to see scantily clad woman, violent clashes and super-slick racing action."