Taxi

"Bad"

Taxi Review


Jimmy Fallon's big screen career may be over before it even gets started if his complete lack of screen presence in "Taxi" is any indication.

The comedian, who was a hoot as Tina Fey's news co-anchor on "Saturday Night Live" but left the sketch show this season to pursue movie stardom, is virtually invisible next to the charismatic Queen Latifah, Ann-Margret and Jennifer Esposito in this low-watt action-comedy -- and when he's alone in the frame, you may find yourself just looking at the scenery.

Fallon plays a wholly inept cop with such a bad record of wrecking cars that his frustrated lieutenant (Esposito) takes away his driver's license. Desperate to prove himself when he hears a bank heist reported over his police radio, he commandeers a taxi driven by takes-no-sass Latifah -- who, it just so happens, has customized her seemingly average cab into a presto-change-o supercharged street rod. It's the perfect car, with the perfect daredevil driver, for chasing down the crooks -- who are, purely for the sake of selling tickets to 13-year-old boys, leggy Brazilian models in a souped-up BMW.

None of these asinine plot devices (which are just the tip of the iceberg) would matter if the film embraced its own absurdity, focusing on irony and over-the-top action. But the stunt-driving is almost as lackluster as the picture's star (and over-edited to hide this fact), and director Tim Story ("Barbershop") stops the plot dead in its tracks for comedy set pieces, as when Fallon sings along in falsetto to Natalie Cole's "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)."

Based on a French action-comedy from writer Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element," "The Transporter"), who also produced this remake, "Taxi" is so weakly scripted that it gives us no reason to invest in Fallon's redemption for his complete failure as a cop, or to care about Latifah's cursory attempts at explaining to her pouting hunk of a boyfriend why she hasn't come home for the fancy dinner he's cooked. And Story apparently cares little about suspension of disbelief because the film is plagued by distractingly obvious blue-screen effects and nearly as obvious stunt doubles. The guy (I'm reasonably sure it's a guy) who is supposed to be Latifah during the opening scene, in which she supposedly bicycles through Manhattan traffic at break-neck speeds, is at least 30 pounds lighter than the zaftig actress.

Not needing a double for the humor, Latifah becomes the film's lead by default, with her spitfire sense of tough-girl comedy timing. But "Taxi's" scene-stealer (if not its saving grace) is Ann-Margret, hilariously loopy as Fallon's sweet but margarita-addled mother, whose apron strings he still clings to rather pathetically.

As for the fledgling star, he's not a complete failure as an actor -- in fact he was terrific in his small role as a corporate-stooge band manager in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous." But while "Taxi" is certainly full of faults that would be hard for most good actors to overcome, Fallon provides the fatal blow himself by being the least interesting part of a pretty paltry movie.

Then again, at least it's not the kind of over-extended sketch movie usually used to launch the failing film careers of "SNL" alumni.



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: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.