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Film / Torque

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Ford: I live my life a quarter-mile at a time.
Shane: ...That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
— Ford borrows a line from a certain other film and gets owned in response

The Fast and the Furious... WITH MOTORCYCLES!

Torque is a 2004 action film directed by Joseph Kahn.

Martin Henderson plays Badass Biker Cary Ford. 6 months prior to the events of the film, Henry James (Matt Schulze), the leader of a biker gang called the Hellions requested he look after some bikes. When trying to move them, however, Ford found crystal meth in the fuel tanks. Ford hid the bikes and fled to Thailand, where has has been for six months, leading the police to believe he is a drug dealer and Henry to believe he stole his bikes. Now Ford's returned to the states to reconcile with his girlfriend Shane (Monet Mazur). Henry's still pissed, so he frames Ford for the murder of the younger brother of Trey (Ice Cube), the leader of a rival biker gang called the Reapers. Motorcycle chases ensue...

This film provides examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: Junior. You have to admit. He was a complete Jerkass throughout the beginning of the film who kind of have it coming after trying to get his gang to sell drugs.
  • The Cameo: When Shane and Ford argue in her shop, she angrily tells another customer they're closed. The other customer is Jesse James from Monster Garage.
  • Camping a Crapper: Henry instigates a brawl at a club, which causes Junior to hightail it inside a bathroom, where he is confronted and killed by Henry.
  • Car Cushion: The final chase ends with Ford landing on Henry and his bike after he does a Ramp Jump try to escape a Vapor Trail… which he doesn't, leaving a very dead Henry as a result.
  • Car Fu: Aside from bikes and cars crashing into each other it's taken to absurdity in the Designated Girl Fight when the two fighters try to roundhouse kick each other with the bikes at one point.
  • Chase Scene: Lots of them. Two of the most notable are the one that takes Ford and Trey over and inside of a passenger train and the final chase between Henry and Ford, with their custom bikes going so fast they leave hurricane-style winds behind them.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Dalton cuts the chain off Henry's bike. Said chain is used by Henry to murder Junior and frame Ford for said murder.
  • Cool Bike: Almost every bike in the film, most notably the Y2K, which is mentioned to have the engine of an Apache helicopter and demonstrates the borderline physics-defying amounts of horsepower it has in the final bike chase.
  • Designated Girl Fight: The climax has three fights going consecutively, with one of them being Shane and Henry's black leather-clad girlfriend engaging in an uproariously unrealistic Car Fu duel with their bikes.
  • Karmic Death: Luther is hung with a chain- the same method he used to kill Junior, Trey even Lampshades this by saying "Ain't that ironic"?
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: The reason Trey and his gang go after Ford: Ford's rival Henry frames Ford for the murder of Trey's little brother. Of course, Ford is able to convince Trey that Henry was the one who committed the murder.
  • Product Placement: Check out the Pepsi and Mountain Dew signs covering the entire ends of an alleyway during the Designated Girl Fight.
  • Racing the Train: A variant happens in the chase scene between Trey and Ford, where they chase each other in bikes along a train, then taken from the top of a train to the front of it.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Trey gets caught in his own bike in the middle of the tracks and Ford rescues him right before the two jump out of the way just in time for the train to close in and run over the bike, causing it to explode.
  • Shout-Out: At one point you can see a red Valiant drive by and then a large filthy tanker truck drives a biker off the road.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Junior's murder at the hands of Henry is what kick-starts the whole plot.
  • Speed Demon: Cary Ford loves going fast. He is basically Dominic Toretto with a preference for bikes over cars due to the former being smaller and easier to maneuver.
  • Stealth Parody: According to Joseph Kahn himself and to recent interviews with Adam Scott (who plays an FBI agent), the movie was mostly intentional in its ridiculousness. Kahn assumes 75% of the movie he wanted to make was in the final effort and that the lack of physics and the general over-the-top nature was entirely intended.
  • Take That!:
    • At one point The Fast and the Furious (2001) is directly referenced/insulted. Ford borrows Vin Diesel's line, "I live my life a quarter-mile at a time," to which Shane replies, "That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard."
    • The film seems to just have it at cars. At the beginning of the film, just after Ford outruns two cars (which look like having come out of a Fast and Furious film), the gush of wind made by his bike's high speed makes a sign street address spin in a way that it's made to look as if it reads "Cars Suck."
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: Trey kills Luther by hanging him with his own chain.
  • Vapor Trail: The fire can chase down a bike said to have a top-speed of 200 mph.