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Torque (2004)

Torque (2004)

Torque could have been so awesome. It's like a motorcycle counterpart of the Fast & Furious series, with Ice Cube (YEAH!), and a bunch of other cool dudes... but somehow they managed to mess it up anyway. I think it's the special effects. The motorcycle stunts are nice and dandy, dusty, grim, brutal, the crashes and jumps intense - but as soon as they start adding in CGI work you notice how all of a sudden it looks planned out and unnatural; too perfect. When they go fast they go too fast, and with that final explosion the characters fly the wrong way. Things just don't look right. It doesn't have authenticity, and I'd prefer authenticity over speed any day (and be pretty damn impressed if they manage both).

At times I am impressed at how well they managed to mix in real footage with the digital effects, how they end one of those staged scenes with a character flying through the air - a perfect cut, yet at other times I'm almost embarrassed at how bad it is. In a way, this could've been a Bollywood movie. Would I have excused the faltering CGI if it was? Would it have been OK then? If the answer is yes I really need to change my basis for judgment! But moving on...

The movie mixes action with comedy a bit sloppily, it mixes brutal crashes, murder and madness with cheesy one-liners - that only on occasion really work, and add generic jokes or phrases amidst scenes that are supposed to be sublimely serious. Some scenes are serious, some really work, but in the end it's an unblanaced mesh of different character all mixed up in a plot of drugs, vengeance, love; motorbiking. I wouldn't mind watching a movie like this for entertainment, but with the intro scene I got a bit carried away, for a moment I imagined it'd be as stylishly fast-paced and creatively violent as Shoot 'Em Up (2007), with as developing and cleverly surprising an intrigue. It could have been that good, in a vehicle-based way. It wasn't, but it was a fun ride.

 rated 3/5: not bad


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