Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joseph Kahn|
Neal H. Moritz
|Written by||Matt Johnson|
|Music by||Trevor Rabin|
Howard E. Smith
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$46 million|
Torque is a 2004 American racing action film directed by Joseph Kahn, in his feature film directing debut, edited by David Blackburn, written by Matt Johnson and produced by Neal H. Moritz, who is known for producing The Fast and the Furious film series. The film stars Adam Scott, Martin Henderson, Ice Cube, Monet Mazur, Jaime Pressly, Will Yun Lee, Jay Hernandez, Max Beesley, Fredro Starr and Christina Milian. The film tells the story of large groups of highly skilled motor racers who participate in underground motorcycle races. The film was mainly inspired by The Fast and the Furious.
Torque was theatrically released on January 16, 2004 in the United States. Grossing $46 million worldwide against production budget of only $40 million, it was a commercial failure, and received generally negative reviews from film critics who criticized the unnecessary humor, the acting performances, as well as the writing, storyline and direction, though some critics praised the action sequences. It was nominated for several Taurus Awards for its stunts.
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The film begins with two cars racing in the middle of the desert. Biker Cary Ford (Martin Henderson) pulls up on his motorcycle and tries to pass them. He finally does so and stops at a diner which his old girlfriend Shane (Monet Mazur) owns. There are pictures all over the wall of Ford and Shane back when they were together. Ford takes one of the pictures. He then goes back outside and the two punks who didn't let him pass show up. The three get into a fight but Ford beats up both of them.
Next Ford meets up with his two best friends Dalton (Jay Hernandez) and Val (Will Yun Lee). They take a ride back to town to see a motorcycle party. Ford sees Shane and the two begin to talk with Shane saying that she is mad that Ford left. A biker gang called the Hellions pulls up which contains Henry James (Matt Schulze) the leader, his girlfriend China (Jamie Pressly) and his right-hand man Luther (Max Beesley) . Henry is saying that he is pissed at Ford for stealing his bikes (which contain drugs). Ford tells Henry that he stole the bikes to pay off bills and his own bike. The Hellions leave and Ford, Dalton and Val all take a ride on their bikes.
Another biker gang who is friends with the Hellions pull up. The black biker gang called the Reapers, contains Trey (Ice Cube) the leader and his brother Junior (Fredro Starr). The gang says that Ford better stop stealing bikes or he is going down.
Ford and his two friends and Shane arrive at a nightclub where tons of biker gangs hang out. The three gangs run into each other and cause a big brawl. Junior is scared and runs into the bathroom. Henry, China and Luther are in the bathroom also and confront Junior there. Junior says that he is sorry for not paying Henry back for a blown drug deal (which Trey refused to allow prior to this scene) and begs Henry to give him some time to work it out. But Henry refuses and kills Junior by strangling him to death with a biker chain. Ford, Shane and the two friends go back to a motel to stay for the night. Meanwhile Ford and Shane are in the back of the motel flirting and talking.
At the murder scene where Junior was found dead, two FBI agents show up. A woman, Henderson (Justina Machado) and her partner, McPherson (Adam Scott). They say they will take care of the case and find out who killed Junior. China says that she was a witness to Junior's death (obviously she is lying). She says that Cary Ford killed Junior. Trey finds out and tells his biker gang to catch Ford and kill him.
Next Ford, Shane and the two friends stop at a diner. Shane sees on the TV that Ford is wanted for Junior's murder. Shane tells Ford and the four leave the diner and hit the road. The Reapers pulled up at the diner and chases the four. The four ride into a forest full of palm trees to get away. Trey's gang members meets up with them in the forest. Ford tells Shane and the friends to split up. Ford rides out of the forest into a desert. Trey follows. Here at the desert we see a train. Ford jumps up onto the train and Trey follows riding on top of the train. After a while Ford jumps off the train and Trey follows. Trey slips and falls in front of the train and his leg gets caught on the tracks. Ford decides to help Trey. (He helps Trey because Ford must tell Trey that he didn't kill Junior). Ford saves Trey and gives him his bike. Shane, Dalton and Val meet up with Ford and the four find a cave for the night to stay.
Ford talks it out with his friends and says that he should call the FBI agents to tell them that he is innocent. Ford calls them and McPherson picks up the phone. He says that he doesn't believe Ford but Henderson does. We next see that it is morning and the four leave the cave and find a huge truck and hop in the back of it. The trucker doesn't know that the four are in the back. As the truck is driving it gets stopped by the cops. The four in the back hear the cops and take what is inside the back of the truck....a fast car. Just before the agents open the back of the truck, Ford and Shane bust out of the truck in the car and the two friends on their bikes. The four drive onto a highway. The FBI agents follow and so does Trey.
The next scene takes place on the highway with tons of other cars. Ford jumps out of the car and jumps onto Val's bike and tells Val to ride with Shane. Trey and the two agents follow. The partners aren't paying attention and their black Hummer hits a construction pipe and flies into the air and lands upside down(they survived though). Trey rides his bike into Ford's and the two crash. Ford holding Trey at gunpoint explains to Trey that he did not kill Junior. He believes him says that he wants to find out who killed Junior. Ford says that it was Henry and that he set them both up. At Shane's garage Ford calls Shane and tells her that he wants her and Val and Dalton to come and meet him and Trey there. Just after that, the two FBI agents bust in and tell Trey and Ford to get down. Henderson says that she wants an explanation since she believes Ford is innocent. Ford tells them and the two agents believe them. McPherson turns and shoots Henderson and she falls to the floor. McPherson reveals himself as Henry's inside man and that he is working with the Hellions after making a deal with him. Henry, China and Luther show up revealing they have tied up Ford's two friends with chains and have also taken Shane hostage. Ford says that Henry can take the bikes back but Henry wants to kill Ford and Trey (after admitting to Trey that he had killed Junior).
There is a big fight scene with Trey killing Luther by hanging him with a chain. Henry and China leave the garage. Ford frees Shane while Trey unties Val and Dalton and they leave the garage. Just before they do Henderson gets up and tells McPherson that she is wearing a bullet proof vest. She tells Trey and the others to leave the garage which they do. Henderson then blows up the garage killing McPherson. Outside of the garage China meets up with Shane. The two fight on their bikes.
The fight ends with Shane kicking China off her bike and throwing her through a car windshield, killing her.
Finally Ford catches up with Henry on the street in a bike chase. Henry shoots at the gas of the bike Ford is driving causing gas to leak from it. As Henry is shooting at Ford the bullet hit the leaked gas causing a fire trail. Ford then soars through the air and lands on top of Henry's bike, the fire catches up to them both causing both bike's to explode throwing Ford in the air and killing Henry. Shane picks him up and they drive back to the garage to find the others. It is also revealed that Henderson survived but is injured
Ford and Shane get back together and decide that the four need a vacation (with Shane suggesting Mexico). Val picks up his girlfriend Nina (Christina Milian) and from a distance we see the four ride off in the desert as the screen fades to black and the credits roll.
- Martin Henderson as Cary Ford, the protagonist who is framed for murder
- Ice Cube as Trey Wallace, leader of The Reapers whom he hated Ford for the framed murder of his brother, their member, but realized the truth, later he became an ally to Ford
- Monet Mazur as Shane, Ford's longtime girlfriend
- Adam Scott as FBI Agent Jay McPherson
- Matt Schulze as Henry James, leader of the Outlaw motorcycle club known as The Hellions, he is responsible for framing Ford and the film's antagonist
- Will Yun Lee as Val, Asian-American friend of Ford
- Jaime Pressly as China, girlfriend of Henry James
- Max Beesley as Luther, second-in-command of The Hellions
- Christina Milian as Nina, Val's new fling and new friend of Ford
- Jay Hernandez as Dalton, Hispanic-American friend of Ford
- Faizon Love as Sonny, member of The Reapers, drives a black Ford Excursion
- Fredro Starr as Junior Wallace, younger brother of Trey who is murdered
- Justina Machado as FBI Agent Henderson, partners with FBI Agent McPherson
- Hayden Mcfarland as Kho
Dane Cook makes a cameo appearance as a tourist that runs into Henry. Jesse James of West Coast Choppers and Monster Garage makes a cameo appearance in the scene where Ford and Shane are talking inside the tent. Two of his custom choppers are used later in the movie as the bikes Henry James' drugs are stored in. Also, director Joseph Kahn can be spotted as a passenger during a train chase scene.
- Track listing
|2.||"True Nature"||Jane's Addiction||3:49|
|5.||"Out of Control"||Hoobastank||2:43|
|6.||"Master of Light"||Monster Magnet||4:44|
|8.||"Fire and Flame"||Robbie McIntosh|
|9.||"Play It Loud"||MxPx||3:18|
The original score was done by Trevor Rabin.
Similarities to The Fast and the Furious
The film has been called "The Fast and the Furious on Motorcycles", referring to the use of many of the same thematic elements between the two films. The film's director Joseph Kahn said his intention was to make a "piss take" version of the Fast and Furious franchise, even though both movies were produced by Neal H. Moritz.
Torque specifically references The Fast and the Furious at one point, taking a line directly from the film. Henderson's character Ford borrows Vin Diesel's line, "I live my life a quarter-mile at a time." To which Shane (Monet Mazur) replies, "That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard."
When Ford rides past the road sign at the start of the film it spins and reads "cars suck".
The film opened at #3 at the U.S. Box office raking in $9,970,557 USD in its first opening weekend. The movie's theatrical run took in a total of $21,215,059 in the United States and worldwide $46,546,197, against a production budget of approximately $40,000,000.
Torque received mostly negative reviews, earning a score of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 113 critics. Rotten Tomatoes' consensus for the movie is that the film is "Silly and noisy ... stylish fun for the MTV crowd." More positive reviews came from Kevin Thomas of L.A. Times who called it "A terrific action picture. Stylish unpretentious fun." Jeremy Wheeler at allmovie.com rated Torque 3 stars out of 5 stating: "Torque is a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart, eliciting so many moments of amped-up and overblown excitement that those with medical conditions (and very serious taste in film) should probably stay ten blocks away.... this little slice of joy relishes in being abundantly over-the-top at every explosive turn." The film has since gone on to acquire a cult following among sports-bike racers and enthusiasts, as well as racing film fans. The film has also garnered some appreciation for its over the top stunts, fast pace and stylish action sequences.
Torque was released on DVD and VHS on May 18, 2004. It was released on Blu-ray on April 22, 2014.
- David Chen (May 8, 2010). "The /Filmcast: After Dark - Ep. 98 - The Making of Torque and the Imagery of Kick-Ass (GUEST: Joseph Kahn, Director of Torque)". Archived from the original on February 2, 2013.
- "Torque (2004)". Box Office Mojo.
- "Torque". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
- "Winners & Nominees". Taurus World Stunt Awards. Retrieved 2013-09-22.