Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Director's commentary. Branching
footage. Deleted scenes x 4. Making of featurette - The Meter's
Runnin'. Lights, Camera, Blue Screen. Tour Guide: Jimmy Fallon.
Reel Comedy: Taxi (Comedy Central Special). Beautiful Criminals
(music montage). Inside Look - Rebound.
FROM its opening shot of a lone bicycle courier travelling at
high speed through the streets, underpasses and parks of New York,
it seems as though Taxi might just be a zesty, carefree, even
fun little caper comedy.
As soon as said biker takes off her helmet to reveal Queen Latifah,
however, the film pretty much stalls beyond repair.
Tim Story's remake of Luc Besson's superior French crime comedy
is a particularly flat affair which becomes increasingly more
annoying the longer it continues. Even the out-takes fail to generate
The premise - as such - relies on the tired mis-matched buddies
formula, with Latifah starring as a recently-recruited yellow
cab driver, whose customised vehicle enables her to get anywhere
her clients wish on time.
When she is forced to assist Jimmy
Fallon's bumbling cop, however, she finds her car subsequently
impounded and Fallon on her case, as the two try and thwart a
series of bank robberies being conducted by Giselle and her supermodel
And while the set-up sounds as though it could be fun, and the
film follows pretty much the same format as Besson's sleeker original,
it consistently raises groans instead of laughter and feels hopelessly
mis-cast to boot.
Fallon, especially, makes for an excruciatingly annoying lead
character, consistently proving himself to be as inept a comedian
as he is a cop.
Everything about his character grates, from his inability to
drive a car properly, to his relentlessly dull goading of suspects
His chemistry with the feisty Latifah is virtually non-existent,
rendering her peformance just as annoying in the process, and
reducing the film to a series of overly repetitive bickering sequences
between the two of them.
Giselle, at least, provides some eye-candy, but a scene in which
she conducts an intimate body search of Jennifer Esposito's cop
(the superior and former love-interest of Fallon) pretty much
eptiomises the exploitative and, frankly, shallow nature of proceedings.
Had the chase sequences been something special, the rest of the
movie's failings might not appear so glaring, but Story also fails
to inject any excitement into any of the heist sequences, while
too many of the chases feeling effects dominated or pedestrian.
Hence, anyone who risks picking up the fare on this one is likely
to be screaming for a refund given the mis-directed route it follows.
This particular Taxi has all the finesse of a Reliant Robin.