‘Ello everyone! Taxi? More like Lacks Glee (I honestly am shocked I pulled an okay one out of that). Huh, a surprisingly high BMeTric? A genuinely interesting choice at director? Queen Latifah paired with Jimmy Fallon? I kind of knew this movie has the potential to confound … but I didn’t know quite to what degree. Let’s get into it.
- The Good – There were moments that were genuinely funny. Queen Latifah was actually quite good. I appreciated the way it inverted tropes (and was rather effective at it). The director knew his limitations and managed the action comedy admirably. Everyone seemed on board and the film was far more coherent than I could have ever expected.
- The Bad – And yet it is a terrible movie. Boring, not funny. The music is terrible. Fallon is no good and also too bumbling to be admired or appreciated. The entire thing ends up just kind of falling apart in slow motion. And the movie is 15 minutes too long.
- The BMT – This is a 40-50 BMeTric film for sure. But I wouldn’t watch it again unless it just happened to be on television. It isn’t entertaining or unintentionally funny enough to sustain the runtime, but it does have some cred that bumps it up. Specifically Fallon and Bunchen buoy this otherwise lifeless BMT dud. The end.
I got into it. You know what time it is … Audio Sklog-entary. That’s right, we are on a roll. This one was with the director Tim Story all by his lonesome. Things I appreciated: he was very open about his own failings as a director, and very open about how rushed this production was. That side of things was incredibly interesting. But a single person just lacks the same dynamism that a duo has by being able to play off each other. Verdict: B-.
Not since Phone Booth have we had a film so quickly become irrelevant. Now this film would be remade and called Uber (not really, they would get sued), about a ride-sharing, racecar-driving wannabe helping out a down-on-his-luck cop. Instead, since this was made when there was no such thing as Uber, we got a complete carbon copy of the French film it was based on. And I’m not exaggerating. This film was almost shot-for-shot the same film (particularly the beginning and end), to the point where the trick at the end is just replicated. Not even a neat twist. I guess they assumed the general American audience wouldn’t watch the original like me (cause I’m insane). Even the changes that were made were all surface. The mom was just a mom in the original? Let’s make her an alcoholic. German bank robbers? Make them Brazilian super model bank robbers. The bank robbers use a cleaning service to pick up the money after the heist? Make it a garbage truck. Just slight changes for the sake of changing something. Actually made watching the film a bit dull. One of the unfortunate byproducts of obsessively consuming all related materials to the movies we watch.
The way I’ve been thinking about the commentaries is trying to sum up the main idea in a single sentence or word. In this case the word was: rushed. It sounded like he had a super short casting window and even purposefully hired a music video cinematographer because he knew the shooting schedule was tight. Probably why the movie is so similar to the French original. Easier to plan and shoot a direct remake rather than make major changes.
Going back to the BMTsolutions well for my game. Taxi is certainly not based on a book (it’s based on a French film, duh. I was literally just talking about it), but if it were, it would go… a little something… like this. Queen Latifah (yes the book also stars Queen Latifah) is a NASCAR driver. She’s on the rise and feeling super sweet. Unfortunately she gets in a terrible accident that leaves her shaken and confused. Falshforward a year after her recovery and she’s now a taxi driver, obeying the laws of the street, but longing for the race track. She hangs around the local speedway on the weekends and notices something kinda odd. A car that some of the new guys have been using have fancy tires on them that prevents blowouts. Tires that are only sold in Germany. And didn’t she see those same tires in some of the bank robbery footage on the news? She runs to the police to let them know. They, of course, think nothing of it. Who is this crazy lady who thinks she can identify thieves by their tires? Leave the police work to the police. But one officer recognizes her from her racing days and doesn’t think she’s crazy at all. In fact, he’s sure that she’s the only one that can catch these bank robbers in the act. They team up to catch the crooks. Feel the adrenaline of… TAXI.