Joseph Kahn and Warner Bros. are betting $30 million that you are stupid.
Torque opens this friday after some minor delays. Apparently the geniuses at Warner Brothers decided that not only would no one want to see a movie about a stubbled, pretty boy biker framed for murder, but also that no one would take a movie with a name like Torque seriously. Warner Brothers had a big marketing powwow, discussed the shortcomings of the film, the challenge of selling the same tired story once again, and they decided, after interminable minutes of debate, What the fuck—let’s throw this piece of shit at 1200 screens and see if it sticks.
I predict a $20 million opening weekend.
Torque is helmed by Joseph Kahn, a director with the distinction of sharing Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and Chris Cunningham‘s music video pedigree while possessing none (not a whit) of their visual or storytelling talents. Kahn has directed clips for Eminem, U2, Moby, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Garbage, so you know he’s ready to graduate to the big time and direct some big screen, um, garbage. After all, it’s every music video director’s god-given right to tackle a major motion picture: Spike and Michel have found successful second careers on the silver screen. Earlier, David Fincher, Antoine Fuqua, F. Gary Gray, Hype Williams, and others made the leap with varying degrees of success. What do those losers have that Joseph Kahn doesn’t? (Talent for one thing.)
What Kahn has, which those guys never will, is the insane envy of his former high school classmates. Check out what someone named Cinema Lover wrote on the IMDB‘s message board:
I went to high school with Joseph Khan back in the early 1990’s. We were both at Jersey Village High School in Houston, TX back in the early 90’s.
Man Joseph must be getting some crazy p*ssy these days, what with being a reputable music video director and now a director of a major motion picture like “Torque”. He’s directed Britney, Beyonce, Jaime Pressley….DAMN! I remember he was a little goofy looking, and kinda ugly Asian dude, but we all know that Power==Hot P*ssy.
Like Tiger Woods, I imagine Joe having sex with tons of hot blonde women on a big pile of cash.
Jesus, when I think about it I feel so freakin’ small. To think this dude was in my history class, he always had a camcorder with him, and his passion for filming people obviously paid off. Though even back then he was probably getting a lot of p*ssy, just because even in the early 90’s he was directing up and coming hip hop acts in Houston while he himself was still a teenager.
Damn I feel small.
(Cinema Lover? Playa Hater is more like it!) Maybe Kahn won’t win any gold statuettes for Torque, but he already has something a whole lot better: the glare of the green eyed monster. (Oh, and all that Hot P*ssy!)
I’m betting that like its Diesel-burning older brothers The Fast and the Furious, XXX and the stinky cinematic skid marks 2 Fast 2 Furious and Biker Boyz, Torque is a visually-dazzling but completely incoherent exercise in rapid-fire editing, leaden sub-porn film acting, and relentless product placements. Boo-ya!
If that’s the case, why not go for the other Tork—Peter Tork of the Monkees— and rent Head from your friendly neighborhood indie video store this Friday. Written—between hits of the kindest California bud available in 1968—by Jack Nicholson and directed with an “ah, whatever” attitude by Bob Rafelson, it’s the antidote to the slick, Hollywood youth-oriented releases that glut multiplexes mall-over America like so many Mrs. Fields’ cookies full of arsenic.
Actually, who am I kidding? Head is a piece of shit. But it’s probably better than Torque and at least it’s been remembered 36 years years after its release. Oh, and you can be sure Bob Rafelson’s high school classmates are eating their hearts out over all the p*ssy he got in the 70s, what with being a reputable film director and all.
Damn, I feel small even pointing it out.