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Pre-release: TAXI discussion
#1
Bill the Butcher just sent in his review for TAXI




Taxi (2004) -PG-13-

Directed by: Tim Story
Written by: Luc Besson, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Jim Kouf
Adapted from: French films Taxi, Taxi 2, Taxi 3, all written by Luc Besson
Starring: Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon, Jennifer Esposito, Ann-Margret, Christian Kane, Gisele Bündchen


Worst Comedy Starring a SNL’er Since Corky Romano
By Bill the Butcher

Saturday Night Live continues to get worse, year by year. Since Will Ferrell left, there is no one left who can actually act, or who has any sense of comedy. The cast now, in between lines, looks over to read the cue cards—you can see their eyes move from the scene they’re supposed to be acting in, to look over to read the cue cards for their next line.

I think the cast needs to learn that not everyone is Will Ferrell, or Chevy Chase, or even Adam Sandler. While the latter two have gone off to big careers after SNL, both starring in some decent films—Chase in classics like Caddyshack, Vacaction, Fletch, etc., and Sandler, who showed he could actually act in Punch Drunk Love—Ferrell may not have had a huge acting break yet, that combines his dramatic and comedic talents, but his comedies Elf and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy are hilarious. While the plot of both is kind of dumb and a bit ridiculous, they work because of Ferrell’s talent as a comedian.



Jimmy Fallon, who used to do only the news on SNL, but now, unfortunately, does skits as well, has no talent as a comedian. Sure, he’s not bad on the news, not as good as his sidekick Tina Fey—who’s Mean Girls screenplay this year was an above average teeny bopper flick. But the man cannot act. I actually saw him once in a Blockbuster Video about 3 years ago, drunk off his ass; it must really suck to work at SNL, knowing you suck and the show sucks. Fallon surely proves with Taxi, a horrible concept from the beginning, that he surely cannot carry a film as a lead actor.

Taxi opens with a shot of New York City and Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” playing as a helmeted biker unbelievably rides a messenger bike through the streets and “subway cars” of the city. When the biker reaches the destination and is unmasked, we find out the biker is non-other than Queen Latifah. Right from the beginning, we know logic isn’t going to be a pertinent factor in this film, as the biker we saw riding through the streets was ten times thinner than Latifah.

Belle (Latifah) was the #1 biker and is now moving on to driving a taxi. When she gets her taxi, she supes it up to race car status. Belle’s first customer needs to get from the city to JFK airport in 15 minutes, so we get to see Belle and her suped up taxi in action.

While she drives this white guy—she normally doesn’t pick up white guys to try and balance out the universe—to JFK, you can really tell the taxi is up against a blue screen. She of course gets him there in time, in an unfunny sequence as she drives about 100 miles/hr and he flips and flops around the taxi.

Next we cut to Jimmy Fallon’s Washburn character, as he’s about to perform an undercover sting with his partner. They’re trying to bust some Cuban mafia like guys, for selling illegal phone cards. During this scene, Fallon does an awful Scarface impression, which is about the limit of his acting ability. When the Cubans find out their cops, Washburn’s partner gets shot and the bad guys scram.

Washburn jumps in his car trying to follow them, but throws it in reverse, instead of drive, thus crashing into a store. This of course is supposed to be funny, has never happened before in a film, and is completely plausible—accidentally hitting reverse instead of drive. Washburn’s bad driving continues throughout the film as an unfunny gag, just like most of the jokes in Taxi.

The plot from there just gets even more lame, as Washburn hears of a bank being robbed, and just happens to get into Belle’s taxi, after his boss takes his driver’s license away. From there, it’s like an insanely bad, bizarro world comedic version of Collateral—instead of a stone cold hit-man, it’s a dumb cop who gets in the cab.



Basically Washburn and Belle team up to take down a four women bank robbers, who happen to look like models. Taxi makes Set It Off look like Michael Mann’s Heat or Kubrick’s The Killing. Suffice to say, the plot is trash, the acting is bad, and the jokes are not funny.

Taxi is typical Hollywood garbage, adapted from a French film which spawned two sequels, all written by Luc Besson. Maybe the comedy played better as a French film, but the American version is just another failed remake with semi-big stars trying to make money. This has got to be the worst film starring a SNL’er since Corky Romano, the Chris Kattan debacle.


Remake proof:


“Queen Latifah, one of Hollywood's hottest rising stars following her Oscar nominated turn in Chicago, is in talks to star in Taxi, a remake of the 1998 French adventure-comedy.” http://film.guardian.co.uk/print/0%2...3156%2C00.html

“Queen Latifah is getting behind the wheel for the American remake of Luc Besson's TAXI.”
http://www.cinescape.com/0/editorial...8...j_id=38891


Recommended Alternatives: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Elf, Punch-Drunk Love, Mean Girls

-------------------------------------------
Bill the Butcher is Published at
Fidelio’s Film Central:
http://www.geocities.com/fidelio1st/film.htm

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ARTICLE on Carlito's Way Prequelitis (Yes that's right, a prequel is in the works)
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#2
Yeah, so this SNL comedy lacks gravitas or any semblance of good acting. Does that surprise, really? How about the important stuff? How were the car chases?
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#3
Ebert was less than impressed.

Quote:

The taming of Queen Latifah continues in the dismal "Taxi," as Queen, a force of nature in the right roles, is condemned to occupy a lame-brained action comedy. In a film that is wall-to-wall idiocy, the most tiresome delusion is that car chases are funny. Movie audiences are bored to the point of sullen exhaustion by car chases, especially those without motivation and most especially those obviously created with a computer.

As the movie opens, Latifah plays a bicycle messenger who races through Macy's, rattles down the steps of the subway, zips through a train to the opposite platform, goes up a ramp, bounces off the back of a moving truck, lands on the sidewalk, jumps off a bridge onto the top of another truck, and so on. This is, of course, not possible to do, and the sequence ends with that ancient cliche in which the rider whips off a helmet and -- why, it's Queen Latifah!

It's her last day on the job. She has finally qualified for her taxi license, and before long we see the customized Yellow Cab she's been working on for three years. Besides the titanium supercharger given by her fellow bike messengers as a farewell present (uh-huh), the car has more gimmicks than a James Bond special; a custom job like this couldn't be touched at under $500,000, which, of course, all bike messengers keep under the bed. Her dream, she says, is to be a NASCAR driver. In her Yellow Cab?

Then we meet a cop named Washburn (Jimmy Fallon), who is spectacularly incompetent, blows drug busts, causes traffic accidents and has, not his badge, but his driver's license confiscated by his chief, Lt. Marta Robbins (Jennifer Esposito), who used to be his squeeze. But no more. When he hears about a bank robbery, he commandeers Queen Latifah's cab, and soon she is racing at speeds well over 100 mph down Manhattan streets in pursuit of the robbers, who are, I kid you not, four supermodels who speak Portuguese. Luckily, Queen Latifah speaks Portuguese, too, because, I dunno, she used to be the delivery girl for a Portuguese takeout joint.

Oh, this is a bad movie. Why, oh why, was the lovely Ann-Margret taken out of retirement to play Fallon's mother, an alcoholic with a blender full of margeritas? Who among the writers (Luc Besson, Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon and Jim Kouf) thought it would be funny to give Latifah and the cop laughing gas so they could talk funny? What's with Latifah's fiance Jesse (Henry Simmons), who looks like a GQ cover boy and spends long hours in fancy restaurants waiting for Queen Latifah, who is late because she is chasing robbers, etc.? Is there supposed to be subtle chemistry between Latifah and the cop? It's so subtle, we can't tell. (He's afraid to drive because he had a traumatic driving lesson, so she coaches him to sing while he's driving, and he turns into a stunt driver and a pretty fair singer. Uh-huh.)

All these questions pale before the endless, tedious chase scenes, in which cars do things that cars cannot do, so we lose all interest. If we were cartoons, our eyes would turn into X-marks. What is the point of showing a car doing 150 mph through midtown Manhattan? Why is it funny that the cop causes a massive pileup, with the cars in back leapfrogging onto the top of the pile? The stunt must have cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars; half a dozen indie films could have been made for that money. One of them could have starred Queen Latifah.

Latifah has been in movies since 1991, but first flowered in F. Gary Gray's "Set It Off" (1996), about four black working women who rob a bank. She was wonderful in "Living Out Loud" (1998) as a torch singer who has a touching conversation with a lovelorn elevator operator (Danny DeVito). She walked away with her scenes in "Chicago."

Why was it thought that Latifah needed to make a movie as obviously without ambition, imagination or purpose as "Taxi"? Doesn't she know that at this point in her career she should be looking for some lean and hungry Sundance type to put her in a zero-budget masterpiece that could win her the Oscar? True, it could turn out to be a flop. But better to flop while trying to do something good than flop in something that could not be good, was never going to be good, and only gets worse as it plows along.

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#4
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Didn't Bill The Butcher die at the end of GANGS OF NEW YORK?
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#5
this movie looks like horseshit......only a few more weeks until the good stuff starts coming in....
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#6
Is the original available in the U.S. and is it any good? That's what I want to know.
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#7
what i want to know is... how good is the original Taxi?
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#8
It's allright. Not really all that good, to be honest. It's just getting a lot of overhype now because of the remake.
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#9
Quote:

Originally Posted by misanthropic1

what i want to know is... how good is the original Taxi?

There's like 20 of em, which one?

http://www.imdb.com/find?tt=on;nm=on;mx=20;q=taxi
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#10
Quote:

Originally Posted by misanthropic1

what i want to know is... how good is the original Taxi?

It's good cheap car chase fun with an incredibly hot and occasionally naked french chick. What more can you ask for?
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#11
Taxi is vying for the title of one of the WORST REVIEWED MOVIES EVER. 13% on RT right now.

This is one of my favorites - "Jimmy Fallon... is an astrophysical wonder... a black hole of funny, a yawning void of charisma."

And this pretty much sums it up - "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a loser! Taxi is officially—from this viewpoint at least—the worst movie of 2004."

Fantastic Four fans must be worried about this director now!
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#12
As much as I wanna like Jimmy Fallon, I'm strangely just a little bit happy to see this movie look so bad.

I love Queen Latifah, but that's not enough to get me to the theater for this. Definitely on DVD, though.
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#13
I hate both actors.

Jimmy, you try to hard. Go back to SNL and do your skits.
Queen, I hated you when you did the movie "Bringing Down the House". I can just see the dollar bills in your eyes.

The only remote reason I would see this would be for those hot bitches they chase.
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