Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
|Featuring:||Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon, Ann-Margret, Ana Cristina De Oliveira, Jennifer Esposito|
|Distributor:||20th Century Fox|
“He’s armed, but she’s dangerous.”
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “This is the story of a single mother and pizza deliverer, Belle (Latifah), who decides to use her record for making the speedy deliveries to another use, becoming a cabbie. As she quickly becomes famous for racing through the city at speeds upwards of 135 mph (including school zones), a young eager cop (Fallon) who lacks Belle’s driving abilities convinces her to help him catch a gang of beautiful female bank robbers (led by a Brazilian diva played by Bundchen) using her amazing driving abilities.”
One of my favorite comedies to watch during the college days was “Taxi.” You remember this ABC favorite that ran from 1978 to 1983. I enjoyed the characters and most of the humor. It focused on a group of people who dreamed of doing other things while driving a cab. Many of the cast members like Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, and Danny DeVito enjoyed success after cancellation. The most memorable was the late Andy Kaufman. If you even remotely thought that a film by the same title could be funny.think again. I know that there is great creative comedy out there. To watch this film is to imagine this genre on the endangered species list.
This movie is not only lacking in humor. It is also lacking in reality. “Taxi” makes absolutely no sense at all. It is a remake of the 1998 French film by the same title. It must be a huge disappointment for Queen Latifa fans. She has appeared in some very likeable roles. Jimmy Fallon is also an extremely poor excuse for the traditional bumbling cop routine. Where is the next generation of Peter Sellers? It just seems like most of the talent borrowed from “Saturday Night Live” cannot exist beyond a 10-minute sketch. You not only have to check your brain at the door, but also all reason. I could go on and on and on and tell you how unfunny this movie is, but I think you already get the idea.
One of the primary plot points in this flic is several chase scenes. The film is set in Manhattan, but most of the chases were shot in LA. I know that Hollywood does this all the time, but at least they could have changed the street signs. That is just plain sloppy!
Let’s break down the rest of the story. Officer Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon) has just wrecked his third police car and killed a parrot. His precinct boss (Jennifer Esposito) is so tough that she takes his drivers license away. I guess that you can’t use a taxi unless this tragic event happens. He also would never have discovered the privately owned customized taxi.
Fast-talking Fallon and the conceited Belle (Latifa) never do click in this flic. Don’t put all the blame on the Queen. I don’t think anyone would have clicked with Fallon. She does seem to find herself lately in clichéd ethnic roles. You know the ones that are desperately trying to help all the uptight whites. I know that director Tim Story has found some success with the movie “Barbershop.” This time around the block is just too choreographed.
What Mr. Story lacks in humor, he tries to make up some ground by tossing in some sexy bank robbers. The most recognized is the Brazilian Victoria Secret fashion model Gisele Bundchen. That fact cannot make up for an abrupt ending that does help to put disappointed moviegoers out of their misery.
The language and lust factor are just a few of the additional spoilers in this film. My VERY strong recommendation is to skip this one.
There is great hope for Christian comedy. I recently saw Paul Aldrich. He is hilarious. You can read and hear more about him at www.paulaldrich.com. I will be reviewing his new comedy release soon.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate