Written by Jason Franz
In Taxi, Jimmy Fallon plays a bumbling big city cop (Washburn) that has an extremely bad driving record, trying to catch a big case. Queen Latifah plays a bicycle messenger (Belle) trying to make it as a New York cabbie in her home-made “super cab”. The two meet up when Fallon comes accross a robery while walking the beat. Hilarity does not ensue.
Taxi tries to do it all. Deliver laughs, action and a bit of drama and manages to fail on every attempt. From the unbelievable “…uper cab” to Fallons extremely bad driving, right from the start you’re left wondering what is supposed to guide this rollercoaster speeding out of control. Washburn and Belle get mixed up trying to bust a crazy Euro crime spree, due to the fact that Washburn has lost his license and needs a ride to catch the four bikini clad bandits (led by super model Gisele Bundchen). Through his bumbling ways, Washburn manages to get the cab Belle worked so hard to make, inpounded by the FBI. The two hatch a scheme to get Washburn the respect he desires and Belle her cab back, by catching the bikini bandits red handed. No folks, I’m not making this up, you really have to see it to believe it. Through it all we are treated to some decent car chases and the rare chuckle, and I do mean rare.
Surprisingly we are treated to a pretty aggressive Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The music is clear and moves around using all the channels and the action has some excellent low end thumps. Some of the car chases have excellent directional movement and the voices come through very crisp and clear.
Presented 2.35:1 widescreen, the picture is also surprisingly good, considering the the actual movie it is presenting. Very clean throughout and has excellent contrast and color. Even in the car chases, the picture remains sharp and maintains excellent detail. Not a reference quality picture, but a much better transfer than many better films have received.
As with many of the Saturday Night Live alumni driven movies, we are blessed with a standard, but admirable list of extra features (again, surprising considering the film). We are treated to an extended version of the film, although why anyone would want to extend their own torture is beyond me. A directors commentary, in which Tim Story should have offered his first born child to those unfortunate enough to see his film, rather than his crib notes on the experience. Followed by a few featurettes, The Meter’s Runnin’: Making Taxi – Lights, Camera, Bluescreen – Tour Guide: Jimmy Fallon – Comedy Central’s Reel Comedy: Taxi and lat but not least Beautiful Criminals, which is a video recap of all the scenes with the bikini bandits… riveting stuff folks.
Considering Taxi was written and produced by Luc Besson, I’m surprised it turned out to be the mess it is. But, nobody is perfect and with this type of film, you simply have to leave your brain at home before leaving for the theater. I can’t recommend buying this movie retail, I just wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I might have caused a divorce, but if you’re curious as to how a “super cab” makes its way through the streets of New York fighting crime with a cop that my sister could beat up… give it a try at your local video store.
Special Features List
- Extended Version
- Deleted Scenes
- Comedy Central’s Reel Comedy: Taxi
- Directors Audio Commentary