Taxi

"Good"

Taxi Review


Meet Belle (Queen Latifah), a classic New York loudmouth with a hunky boyfriend and a dead-end job. By day, she works as a bike messenger, hustling from destination to destination, utilizing garbage truck roofs and crowded department store floors as shortcuts. By night, she spends her time skipping out on dates and transforming her Crown Victoria into supercharged yellow taxicab. After all, if she's going to drive at NASCAR someday, she will need a lot of practice, and if she can win the title as the Big Apple's fastest taxi driver, it might help her chances.

Now, meet Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon), a bumbling misfit of a New York City police officer. He screws up nearly every case his lieutenant -- who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend -- throws at him. Most recently, he blew an undercover assignment by getting his partner shot in the arm just before crashing the police car into a street market. His driver's license has been revoked (not that he could ever drive), and now might fight the streets of New York on foot.

Soon after, while taking a relaxing stroll downtown, Andy hears of a bank robbery taking place nearby. He jumps into Belle's cab and orders her to head to the scene of the crime. Reluctantly, she follows his orders. When they arrive, they encounter four Brazilian supermodels, armed and dangerous, fleeing the crime scene. Belle -- with her supercharged cab and amazing street smarts -- catches up to the criminals' blazing red BMW. Of course, the models manage to escape... but what they don't realize is that Belle and Andy are about to team up, forming an unlikely -- and unsafe -- partnership to track them down and crack the case on their own, without the assistance -- or approval -- of the rest of the police force.

A remake of the 1998 French movie by Luc Besson (The Fifth Element), Taxi relies entirely on the chemistry between the lead actors to carry it through an implausible, contrived plot. Surprisingly, Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon share a mildly likeable chemistry, despite Fallon's obnoxious overacting. A native SNLer, Fallon can't even keep a straight face during the serious stuff let alone the scenes in which he howls hideous melodies while Latifah teaches him how to drive. Such moments have the potential to be funny, but Fallon doesn't trust the jokes themselves; he thinks he has to make them funny. He doesn't understand that funny sometimes needs to be played straight; jokes aren't funny when the actor is laughing while he is telling them.

Luckily, Latifah holds the film together with her exuberant, stronghold personality. Although playing "the woman who wears the pants" is nothing new for Latifah, over the past few years, Latifah has mastered the art of playing Latifah, and she does it quite well here. She's the best thing in the film. If not for her haughty presence, Taxi would have been doomed for a straight-to-video release... guaranteed.

Taxi blends car chases, action, excitement, and whimsical humor in an entertaining -- albeit forgettable -- fashion. I can't, with a clear conscience, deny that was cheering for Latifah to clock ones of those Brazilian models, and I laughed uncontrollably once or twice. For instance, when Andy's clumsiness places Belle and himself in an explosive situation while locked inside a room filling with laughing gas, the results are hysterical. Additionally, Andy's mother (Ann-Margret), who lives her day-to-day life in a constant drunken stupor, extracts explosive laughs whenever she is on screen.

Other jokes, however, fall flat on their ugly faces, such as a running gag involving Andy's police badge, and the opening scene in which Andy investigates a crime undercover and in disguise. Taxi shines at times, but Fallon manages to sneak his way inside the mechanics of the humor and throws a monkey wrench in the gears before the laughs become too genuine and authentic.

Baby, you can drive my car.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th November 1998

Box Office Worldwide: $36.6M

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Isabelle 'Belle' Williams, as Andrew 'Andy' Washburn, as Vanessa, as Jesse, as Lt. Marta Robbins, as Mrs. Washburn, as Agent Mullins, as Jesse, Ana Cristina Oliveira as Redhead, as Clerk at Inpound Office, as Messenger #3

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.