Taxi

"Bad"

Taxi Review


Jimmy Fallon's big screen career may be over before it even gets started if his complete lack of screen presence in "Taxi" is any indication.

The comedian, who was a hoot as Tina Fey's news co-anchor on "Saturday Night Live" but left the sketch show this season to pursue movie stardom, is virtually invisible next to the charismatic Queen Latifah, Ann-Margret and Jennifer Esposito in this low-watt action-comedy -- and when he's alone in the frame, you may find yourself just looking at the scenery.

Fallon plays a wholly inept cop with such a bad record of wrecking cars that his frustrated lieutenant (Esposito) takes away his driver's license. Desperate to prove himself when he hears a bank heist reported over his police radio, he commandeers a taxi driven by takes-no-sass Latifah -- who, it just so happens, has customized her seemingly average cab into a presto-change-o supercharged street rod. It's the perfect car, with the perfect daredevil driver, for chasing down the crooks -- who are, purely for the sake of selling tickets to 13-year-old boys, leggy Brazilian models in a souped-up BMW.

None of these asinine plot devices (which are just the tip of the iceberg) would matter if the film embraced its own absurdity, focusing on irony and over-the-top action. But the stunt-driving is almost as lackluster as the picture's star (and over-edited to hide this fact), and director Tim Story ("Barbershop") stops the plot dead in its tracks for comedy set pieces, as when Fallon sings along in falsetto to Natalie Cole's "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)."

Based on a French action-comedy from writer Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element," "The Transporter"), who also produced this remake, "Taxi" is so weakly scripted that it gives us no reason to invest in Fallon's redemption for his complete failure as a cop, or to care about Latifah's cursory attempts at explaining to her pouting hunk of a boyfriend why she hasn't come home for the fancy dinner he's cooked. And Story apparently cares little about suspension of disbelief because the film is plagued by distractingly obvious blue-screen effects and nearly as obvious stunt doubles. The guy (I'm reasonably sure it's a guy) who is supposed to be Latifah during the opening scene, in which she supposedly bicycles through Manhattan traffic at break-neck speeds, is at least 30 pounds lighter than the zaftig actress.

Not needing a double for the humor, Latifah becomes the film's lead by default, with her spitfire sense of tough-girl comedy timing. But "Taxi's" scene-stealer (if not its saving grace) is Ann-Margret, hilariously loopy as Fallon's sweet but margarita-addled mother, whose apron strings he still clings to rather pathetically.

As for the fledgling star, he's not a complete failure as an actor -- in fact he was terrific in his small role as a corporate-stooge band manager in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous." But while "Taxi" is certainly full of faults that would be hard for most good actors to overcome, Fallon provides the fatal blow himself by being the least interesting part of a pretty paltry movie.

Then again, at least it's not the kind of over-extended sketch movie usually used to launch the failing film careers of "SNL" alumni.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th November 1998

Box Office Worldwide: $36.6M

Production compaines: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Isabelle 'Belle' Williams, as Andrew 'Andy' Washburn, as Vanessa, as Jesse, as Lt. Marta Robbins, as Mrs. Washburn, as Agent Mullins, as Jesse, Ana Cristina Oliveira as Redhead, as Clerk at Inpound Office, as Messenger #3

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

X-Men: Apocalypse Movie Review

This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...

Sing Street Movie Review

Sing Street Movie Review

A buoyant celebration of the power of music, this is the third blissfully entertaining musical...

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Everybody Wants Some!! Movie Review

Richard Linklater loosely follows on from two of his most acclaimed films with this lively...

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

Our Kind of Traitor Movie Review

John le Carre's novel is adapted with plenty of inventive style into a remarkably personal...

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

The Angry Birds Movie Movie Review

There's nothing particularly memorable about this frantic animated romp, which adapts the iconic phone-app game...

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising [Bad Neighbours 2] Movie Review

While it's amusing and sometimes very funny, there's an air of desperation about this sequel...

Advertisement
Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Florence Foster Jenkins Movie Review

Although this comedy-drama seems to have been written specifically to give Meryl Streep a chance...

I Saw the Light Movie Review

I Saw the Light Movie Review

Writer-director Marc Abraham gets ambitious with this biopic about iconic country music star Hank Williams,...

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.