STUDIO: Warner Bros.
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
• Audio Commentaries
 Music Video
 Deleted Scenes

Perhaps the most legendary arbiter of torment and torture during the Spanish Inquisition was known as Torquemada (Torque to his pals). Torment. Torture. Torque. Could it all come together in one violent and intrusive bundle of digital dickslam? Read on…

Twisting force, my ass.

The Flick

Though not as intimidating as Bone-Eater McDaniel or Terror Shrimp, The Red Shitter was no pushover in the super villain sweepstakes.

I made the mistake of blinking during Torque‘s theatrical run and therefore had to cool my jets until the film was massaged into a round I Come in Peace weapon to discover if it was fast and furious or just plain racist towards me. From the advertisements, it looked like the latest adrenaline fueled music video set on wheels with a cast of unmemorable talent set to lame music and edited to the point of sending epileptics off to a twitching early grave.

Thankfully, it’s all of those things.

After the ADR budget ran out, the filmmakers were forced to seek other means of getting the dialogue taken care of.

When I say that Torque is the most shamelessly synthetic and overstylized action flick ever made I mean it in the nicest way possible. This film makes cheese blush. It gives bullet time lead poisoning. From the first computer assisted race sequence to the climactic Chop-Kawasaki and Mach 48373 race through the city, Torque revels in excess in ways that would resurrect Don Simpson and eject him from his grave in slow motion as doves gather and carry him to the surface of Venus where he is pelted with little rocks shaped like Jerry Bruckheimer’s night terrors. As the film unfolded I seriously found myself falling in love with its utter fakeness and bold arrogance. You know the kind of love I’m referring to. The love an inmate finds after cell blocks B and C ventilate his colon enough so that he forgets what it was like before the whistling sound began to waft from his drawers twenty-four hours a day. Before his ass had its own climate. Torque is that rough lover, the one who punches you in the eyes when he/she is happy and does spinning monkey kicks to your coccyx when he/she feels melancholy. This film has the Goodyear blimp testicles to recreate a quote from The Fast and the Furious (also produced by Neal Moritz, one of this film’s many Summerian summoners) and then scoff at it.

It scoffs at The Fast and the Furious, a film that not only made this film possible but one that looks like a Cassavettes flick in comparison. Let that sink in. I’ll wait.

This film slapped me so many times, I became Faye Dunaway.

“I hate it. I love it. I hate it. I love it. Why did John Huston throw me the business? I love it. I hate it.” These were the words drifting from my locked room as I experienced the twisting force.

“Doctor, I might be coming down with something. I have this metallic taste in my mouth. And my nose.”

The film has an intricate and multi-layered plot involving motorcycles. In fact, there’s also some people who ride on them, something I believe which suggests an almost biblical beast of burden dual meaning but I’d have to consult the Kama Sutra and John Grisham’s The Client to be sure. The characters have easy to remember names like Ford, Dalton, Shane, Nina, and Val and it’s good because the subtext being hurled at my jaws at 3000 rpm kept me from keeping track. The filmmakers (led by director/holocaust Joseph Kahn) threw my psyche into an uproar when they had the gall to toss in a character named Henry James. Two names. One person. Thank God for Advil.

I think I figured it out after a few viewings though, like 2001: A Space Odyssey. The monolith of Torque is Martin Henderson and by that I mean he ought to be trapped in the vacuum of space.

“Looks like Martin’s back on the menu, boys!”

Henderson comes from the same vault in central casting that brought us Scott Speedman. They’re good looking fellows who are like a living placebo tossed in between actors. They can recite lines, look good on camera, but there’s obviously some foul play at hand. Perhaps he hasn’t gotten the role that proves his worth, but I spent much of Torque‘s idling time (see that’s a little motorcycle terminology) not only not caring if his character lived, died, or was sold as the cure for arthritis but wondering if I was actually alive myself. Honestly, I won’t be surprised at all if I finish this review and upload it onto the server and then realize I’m actually an energy maggot on Neptune’s hidden moon having a lucid dream. Martin Henderson 2: On the Move.

All of the film’s stars left me looking into the abyss and hoping it was looking back at me. In fact, I now secretly harbor a desire for the abyss to not only look back at me, but invite me in. Monet Mazur is a very pretty woman who looks very good on camera and using a motorcycle to conduct ninja assaults, but I couldn’t find myself believing that she could love Martin Henderson’s character more than a freshly popped Mountain Dew. Ice Cube has more scowls than Eskimos have terms for snow, but it seems the promise of Three Kings has been replaced with a sign that says “Out For Lunch. Will Be Back in Five Films”. Christina Milan? Of her six minutes of screen time I deduced that she has a bright future ahead of her, provided nuclear warheads explode constantly within her line of sight. Adam Scott plays one of two FBI agents that ride around in a Hummer looking for bikers to bust and though I doubt Sam & Twitch t-shirts aren’t standard issue, the biggest arc his character had was when he remembered to pay for gas. Jaime Pressly had a surprisingly tiny amount of screen time considering she’s actually one of the more veteran members of the cast, and though she was sexy as she’s ever been all gussied up as a queen bitch I found it hard to believe she could hold her own in Torque‘s Ninja Bike Combat™ segment. I’ve seen people race around and kick each other with motorcycles and they look nothing like the star of Ticker.

…and it was then that Daniel realized why he was voted ‘Most Likely to Explode Amongst Parts” in his high school yearbook.

The brilliance of Torque

Sorry, had to take a break there. Scientists just knocked on my door and handed me an award for being the 16,000th person to start a sentence with “The brilliance of Torque“… is that it doesn’t nudge against the concept of taking the genre and bending it a little, it fires a pulse weapon at the concept to loosen it up and then drives a stretch M-1 Abrams tanks through it while guzzling champagne and eating truffles mined from the back of Rudy Ray Moore. It’s so over the top that it’s hard not to just give in after about a half hour of utterly ludicrous behavior and have fun with it. The acting doesn’t matter, the fact that Kahn has the attention span of a nematode in a triple espresso petri dish doesn’t matter.

Nothing matters except the wretched excess of the twisting force.

“Maximillian… I thought you died on the Cygnus with Dr. Reinhardt.”

I find Torque to represent all that is unholy in the film business. If it were enrolled in the school of style over substance, it’d be the one with the automatic weapon. Zooms give birth to computer generated internal cross sections which give birth to whip pans to speeding racers which smash cut to computer assisted shots of people whisking past each other which give birth to impossible shots 200 feet in the sky which gives birth to the It’s Alive baby, teeth bared for hatred. Everything is wrong, from the silly train chase sequence to the 200mph duels that defy the laws of physics, gravity, and Jude. This is the only film with extreme sports that no kid would ever try at home and thusly not require a disclaimer. Evel Kneivel would see this and piss his starry jumpsuit.

It’s this fearless determination to rule the looney bin that makes Torquea special film. They knew what they were doing. It was evil, but I can’t fault them for going forward with their fiendish scheme. It’s the best worst movie you might see this year. It’s like a milkshake filled with Drano. It’ll taste great going in but it’ll victimize your throat, lungs, stomach, and rectum like nobody’s business.

Except Martin Henderson and his twisting force.

Though he grew his hair out in the winter Brian could never fully conceal his Sleestak noggin.

I love this movie. I hate this movie.

0.0 out of 10/10 out of 10

 McBlur unknowingly becomes member #49,489 of THE NATION’S PUNCHED™.

The Look

Torque has an agenda that involves the savage and uninterrupted mutilation of your soul, and I’m proud to say that this widescreen transfer does so in a way that allows the process to happen without a hitch. The last thoughts that will enter your mind before you are a faceless automaton with a yellow leather jumpsuit is “This film looks good…”.

You will then lose bodily control and soil yourself and everyone you’ve ever loved but it won’t be because Warner Bros. delivered a shoddy transfer. This looks nice, you frigging robot.

9.0 out of 10

“OK, repeat the part about the Body Thetans…”

The Noise

In addition to incinerating your eyes with the greatest of ease, the DVD of Torque has no worries in recreating Stallone’s Copland aural canals in your own living room on your own living head. The 5.1 Dolby track has the subtlety of the 2nd fully functional Death Star and whether it’s the cathartic Satanic purr of the film’s numerous crotch rockets or the shafty song du jour in the film’s jukebox of sorrows, everything comes through with flying colors. Not unlike a Technicolor yawn.

Good work, though. It booms and it blams and it makes the couch quiver. Just like mom.

9.0 out of 10

“Yeah, I’m here to audition for The Adventures of Young Kurt Russell.”

The Goodies

I’d have paid an easy two-hundred bucks for this DVD if it featured three commentary tracks featuring Joseph Kahn apologizing in every known language including Sign. Sadly, there are only two tracks of him apologizing, but he does it in a really subtle way. He does it by talking about the movie.

I swear, if I listened to these commentary tracks and discovered that Kahn took this film seriously I would have demanded his and my knees be transplanted. Thankfully, he knows exactly what he’s done and probably going to Hell for and I found it to be quite fun. There’s a cast commentary where Kahn sits in with his bikers and I liked it, though the overall impact is lessened by so many people that it becomes impossible to tell who’s who and who’s currently hosting Azazel. Still, it’s a really fun track and it put my mind at ease that Torque was actually a fun film and not a weapon of mass destruction.

The second track features Kahn apologizing through the explanation of how the film was made. It’s a lot more technical but an apology nonetheless.

Additionally, there are some animatics which illustrate/apologize how a few of the scenes were done/inflicted from the animatic stage all the way through finished and rendered final products. It’s pretty neat, though some of the finished effects are about as convincing as a luggage rack cooking me dinner.

Most importantly, there’s a video by Youngbloodz. I think you’ll all agree that it’s that feature that escalates this DVD from “Must Purchase” to “Must Worship”.

7.5 out of 10

The Torque Guide to Subtle Filmmaking: Reflections

Shooting in a mirror is cool and represents the duality of man.

No, really.

Objects from Crazy/Beautiful are larger than they appear.

Another neat trick: Making it appear an actor is kissing his girl as she frolics in General Zod’s prison.

This represents the duality of man and also suggests that man too might have a toothpick, screwdriver, and compass hidden in his ass.

The Artwork

The artwork is very similar to the original one-sheet, except this version doesn’t have a cryptic mind control element begging you to punish your loved ones hidden within.

It’s eye-catching, shows off its attractive cast, and features a nice motion blurred glimpse at two people conducting the centuries old martial art involving only inner peace and a Japanese motorbike.

7.0 out of 10

THE FLICK: 0.0/10.0

OVERALL: .005 or 10.0