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Taxi (2004)

Taxi N.Y.C.

Hes armed, but shes dangerous.

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 97 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12a

In ‘Taxi’, Mike Myers look-a-like Jimmy Fallon plays a hopeless detective who, after being warned off a case, carries on investigating it anyway. He’s a lousy driver, and to make sure we’re aware of this, he automatically goes into reverse every time he starts up a car. Honestly, this thing contains so many worn-out cop comedy clichés that I actually felt a little disappointed to discover his exasperated lieutenant is Jennifer Esposito, and not a fat, screaming, desk-thumping black man.

There really is nothing in this movie that merits much discussion but, on the off-chance that anyone’s interested, here’s the gist. Bungling cop Washburn (Fallon) is on the trail of a gang of leggy lady bank-robbers, led by the unflinchingly bored-looking Vanessa (Gisele Bundchen, who might be nice to look at, but brings very little else to the party). The trouble is, he’s had his driving license taken off him, so in order to get around the city he has to catch a cab. And, as you’ll have already guessed, this is no ordinary cab. It’s a souped-up mental-mobile, driven by the mouthy speed-loving Belle (Queen Latifah), and seemingly created with the soul intention of making the machines from The Fast and the Furious look like mid-80s Ladas.

Of course, it’s not long before Washburn and Belle have formed something of a crime-fighting partnership – and, if you’ve ever seen a single buddy cop flick at any previous point in your life, you’ll know the rest of it inside-out.

The main problem I had with the film wasn’t its predictability – I pretty much take that as a given whenever I go to see any police-based action-comedy nowadays. Neither was it the handling of the numerous chase sequences, which are actually dealt with pretty well by Barbershop director Tim Story. No, my major gripe is that it’s just not funny. Fallon is a ‘Saturday Night Live’ regular and Latifah has now got plenty of big screen comedy appearances under her belt, but together they make one of the most forced, lacklustre and downright dull double-acts I can ever recall seeing. At one point the pair of them begin guffawing uncontrollably when they’re trapped in a room full of laughing gas. Perhaps some of that stuff should be pumped into cinemas at the same time, as it’s the only hope this stultifyingly unamusing cop-com has of raising any laughs.

‘Taxi’ is an Americanized remake of Luc Besson’s 1998 French film of the same name. The original spawned two sequels. I’m guessing – nay, hoping – that this one won’t do the same.

It's Got: Mirror, signal and manoeuvre.

It Needs: L-plates.


I’ll take the bus, thanks.