First-time director Joseph Kahn, known for his flashy music videos (he won a Moonman for Eminem’s “Without Me”), gets an opportunity to bring his frenetic visual style to the big screen. Bad-boy good guy Cary Ford (Martin Henderson) finds himself the victim of a frame job and at the mercy of menacing big wheel Trey (a scowling Ice Cube). Caught in a serious pickle, Ford must pull some fancy tricks to save his ass. Thankfully, Torque knows what it wants to be (which is more than you can say about other recent biker-boy flicks) and flashes a jocular self-awareness about its genre affiliation. In a not-so-subtle poke at forebear The Fast and the Furious, one character borrows Vin Diesel’s line, “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time”—only to have someone interrupt, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” Look for the response in F&F3.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 13, 2004