is a great Orson Welles movie based on a Graham Greene/Carol Reed
story. A western writer goes to post-war Vienna to visit his pal
Harry Lime, a man he has always looked up to. Upon his arrival he
discovers his friend was just killed in a car accident. The truth
is, the friend isn't dead; he has faked his death to elude the police.
They're after him for selling diluted penicillin to hospitals, which
is killing children. Harry Lime is one of the all-time super creeps,
and when we first see him, he's a sniveling coward. Greene and Welles
wanted to make him the most despicable criminal imaginable, They
couldn't think of anything worse than someone who'd kill children
out of pure greed. They never met the people that made Torque.
or better yet, Dorque, is to cinema what watered-down penicillin
is to the children's ward. What a worthless exercise in greed.
It's a racist, homophobic, male-only circle jerk written to let
twelve-year old boys know how 13-year old boys view the world.
It could have been made better by any change, by any effort, but
clearly none was made. The result is the kind of movie where the
crowd is asked to cheer when a sign says "Cars suck." Yeah! Fuck
yeah! Motorcycles fucking rule! Woooo! Oh, wait, how did I get
to the theater again? The men bond over nothing more than their
love of motorsiccles, and all the woman are hot, quiet and obedient.
an actor as thin, reedy and annoying as a grade school flute solo,
is a lonely heart back from six months in Thailand. He went there
to keep his girl from getting ensnared in his legal troubles.
He lives for motorcycles, big Japanese bikes that seethe and tremor
between his legs the same way those Thai pool boys did. Why did
he choose Thailand? That's never explained, and it apparently
hasn't changed him, but I think it's supposed to make him appear
worldly to the twelve-year olds.
has stolen drugs from Matt Schultze, a bad guy with a big glistening
Harley dangling from his crotch. Harleys the motorcycle equivalent
of a flabby, middle-aged alcoholic woman, except they have more
chrome. If the middle-aged drunkettes I know had as much chrome
and leather fringe on them, they'd probably have guys on their
his drugs. And the FBI wants the holder of the drugs. But Henderson
won't tell anyone. He reasons, in one of many painful scenes where
someone talks, that Schultze won't kill him until he reveals the
location of the "millions" in crystal meth. In fact, it's two
motorcycle gas tanks full of crystal meth. Probably more like
$5,000 worth. But quibbling over a story flaw that minor in Torque
is like hating Hitler for the way he chewed schnitzel.
Schulze doesn't want Henderson dead, it's strange that he frames
him for the murder of Ice Cube's brother, so that Ice Cube and
his gang want to kill him. I'm not sure how having someone else
kill Henderson gets Schultze meth back, but, hey, that's the story
screenhack Matt Johnson farted out, and nobody in Hollywood gave
a shit enough to change it.
is a dogpile of clichÈd action sequences that are supposed to
somehow be fresh because they happen on motorcycles. There is
a collision followed by a gun that skitters loose between the
two combatants. The movie rips off Michelle Yeoh's moving train
motorcycle jump from Supercop, not once but twice. It even
includes enemies separated because one was able to get across
train tracks before the train came, and the other wasn't. There's
also, I swear to God, a man in distress on train tracks as a locomotive
barrels down on him. You're probably thinking, that's a lot of
trains. Well, this is a movie about surrogates for dicks.
barreling down on a stuck Ice Cube actually reveals the true racist
nature of Torque. Ice Cube is stuck and Henderson, who
is trying to escape him stops to watch. The train is huge and
coming on fast. It blares its horns. The driver clearly sees Cube.
It's 1000 feet away and Cube is crapping his gay motorcycle leathers.
It's 500 feet away and Henderson is still watching. The train
is still blaring its horn and Barreling along. It's 200 feet away
and Henderson leaps into action. It's not until whitey Henderson
is on the tracks that the movie cuts to a shot of the train driver
slamming on the brakes. Torque says, "Blacks are cheap
and easily replaceable."
Ice Cube doesn't
help. Holy shit is he a bad actor. He mistakes gritting teeth
for toughness. I can hardly wait to see the ventriloquist-in-the-hood
flick he's rehearsing for throughout this movie, because he's
got the speaking without moving his lips thing donwn pat. Mr.
Cube already sold his soul and now has the carcass up for auction.
Seriously, there ain't nothing behind the eyeballs. A man who
once was genuinely and articulately angry at the world and didn't
take shit from nobody willingly barfs up the lines of a hack screenwriter.
I assume Johnson is a white supremacist, or a self-hating black).
At one point Ice Cube says, "Fuck tha Police." No, Ice Cube, fuck
you. You turned a call to war into the punchline in a shitty,
racist movie. You fucking sellout coward, did you ever think you'd
be taking roles that were too white for LL Cool J?
other blacks are portrayed as lazy, slovenly, shady and only able
to communicate in the sort of street language that middle-aged
salesmen shout during racquetball matches. Not that the whites
are portrayed any better. Everyone is dumb as a dumpster of dog
crap, speaking in monosyllabic slogans torn from the "No Fear"
T-shirt collection. The fashion and music is taken from some nebulous
place and time. They look like they shaved off their mullets yesterday.
Henderson wears orange and black leathers with "Carpe Diem" imprinted
on the front. Wow, how profound; like it was ripped right off
an eighth grader's Peechee. I wonder why not "Free Tibet."
is uniformly awful, all sneers and ham as broad as the asses in
the seats at McDonald. The dialog is the sort of sloganeering
shit that is used to sell beer, and it has the balls to mock better
bad movies, like the Fast and the Furious. It's one thing
to suck, it's another to suck and be so fucking clueless you can't
effects, besides being unnecessary, often look like a very bad
video game. The live action suddenly turn into low resolution
video graphics. We're also subjected to "stunts" that so obviously
defy the laws of physics that they're laughable. Two people popping
wheelies in order to use their bikes as swords? Yeah, that was
funny on The Simpsons a few years ago.
If only Torque
knew how fucking awful it was. If the movie could laugh at itself,
or apologize, I might not be so mad. If it admitted to being awful,
maybe I could laugh with it. It doesn't confess. It's watered-down
penicillin, packaged and marketed just like the real stuff, and
prescribed in the same amount. Fucking deadly. One Finger.
Filthy || Want to tell Filthy