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From start to finish, that's the sound you will hear on this ride called Torque. Ford (Martin Henderson) has just come back from Thailand after six months. Really, he wants nothing more than his ex-girlfriend Shane (Monet Mazur), but he has to make things right by clearing his name with the law. For the purpose of "drama," that can't be easy.

Henry (Matt Schulze) is the bad guy who wants his drugs back, and Trey (Ice Cube) is the leader of the Reapers, a black L.A. motorcycle gang, who welcomes Ford back into town at first, but winds up chasing him down after a series of manipulations takes the life of his younger brother.

All in all, Torque is comparable to The Fast And The Furious, with the hot babes, hunky men, unrealistic action, and of course, tight bikes instead of cars. This flick could have been toned down and been a little more realistic, but director Joseph Kahn didn't play it that way. Everyone is so engulfed in over acting cool and macho that after a while it turns into more of an action comedy than action adventure movie. Ice Cube is a gangster with a conscience (of course). He's played other kinds of characters, but it gets harder and harder to remember that.

Scenes with the sidekicks and gang members play up more of the comic relief, as both Jay Hernandez, and Will Yun Lee play out quite successfully as Ford's best friends. Who would have thought that it would be Will that ends up with the hot babes? Also a stock character, Monet Mazur plays cold-hearted (to Ford) tough chick and will not budge. But she seems to break too early in the film, her cold persona quickly turning to a dependent kitty in love again all too easily. Then again, she is playing opposite Henderson, whose character drips of testosterone so much, you couldn't possibly get any more sure of yourself, again to the edge of comedy.

Let us not forget our beloved FBI agents who totally do not fit, wearing either a sports jacket, jeans, T-Shirt and converse shoes, or a Niobi leather outfit rip-off. Being an FBI agent that drives a Hummer has got to be good, and is well used for poking fun. Torque does a lot of poking and making small references to other teen culture films.

So now we come down to the action of this movie. Unbelievable in every aspect! If you can stand wire effects and CG work, you are going to dig this. If there really is a bike that can go 1-200mph in under 10 seconds, and you can accomplish this in a crowded street, you will definitely dig this movie.

Here, stunts are a big deal unlike F&F where you can easily fake cars, but to do a person on a bike is a little trickier. Overall the notion that super speed can be accomplished so easily works on film better than you might think. Seldom is the action so overbearing that you don't know what is going on, and seldom is the story so complicated that you scratch your head in confusion.

Okay, never is the story that complicated.

The movie is pretty straightforward, predictable but with an emphasis on fun. A cameo appearances of Jesse James may add absolutely nothing to the story, but says a lot to whom this movie is geared towards, which isn't to the masses. It's to the young guys and girls that love crotch rockets, fast cars, the fast life, a good time, and of course, the tight leather.


Mish'al Samman

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