Taxi

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Belle Williams (Queen Latifah) is a fiesty cab driver, but then again in New York City, that isn’t even a small surprise. But even in this urban landscape, where cabbies are more ruthless than anywhere else, Belle stands out as perhaps the best in her field. Best of course, if you consider fast to be best, as no one is as skilled and fast as Belle when it comes to transportation. You could give her the most obscure location and then lock her in dense traffic, but she’s still pull up at the stop in record time. Not only is she a one of a kind, with her map like mind and sassy mouth, but her cab isn’t the usual yellow and black. No, her ride is tricked out with all the trimmings, some of which might not even be street legal. She loves to drive fast, but finds herself held back by speed limits, though she is about to be given a free pass in that respect. This is thanks to Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon), a young undercover agent who bumbles more assignments than the Keystone Cops. He has also had his license revoked, which means he can’t drive himself between assignments. So when he meets Belle, who can’t afford another ticket, he sees a chance for a beneficial relationship. If Belle helps Andy track down and keep up with a band of super models on a crime spree, then she can ignore the rules of the road and break any law needed, all forgiven since it is part of police business. But even if the ignorant Andy can manage to corner the models, can he and Belle keep from killing each other?

As the studios in Hollywood continue to turn out more misses than hits, the executives have started looking more to foreign markets. No, not usually to bring excellent films from overseas, but to take those pictures and remake them for American audiences. I don’t hate all remakes, but most of these films are simply excellent as it stands, so no remake is required. The case at hand is Taxi, the remake of the foreign film by the same name, one with heavy involvement from Luc Besson. The original film was acclaimed and scored with audiences, so the natural choice would be to release the film over here. No, instead Fox gives us this remake, with leads that seem to have been drawn out of a hat. Queen Latifah is a decent performer, but this isn’t the right material, while Jimmy Fallon is as lame as I ever seen. I cannot believe someone gave Fallon this role, as he fails to perform up to even the lowest of standards. He could draw some laughs on Saturday Night Live, but if this is an omen of his work to come, his film career will be a total bust. This was just a doomed project from the start, from the bad decision to remake Taxi, then the horrific choice of leads, and in the end, a movie that tries so hard to be fun, but comes off as a complete and total disappointment. I hope that after the miserable failure of Taxi, not to mention countless other unwarranted remakes, studios will look in new directions. Taxi is a film that I couldn’t recommend in the least, even as a rental. If you must see the movie, hold out for a cable broadcast, as you won’t want to spend a dime on this clunker. Fox’s disc is a terrific treatment, but no matter how much you polish this movie, it is still a huge piece of crap.

Video: How does it look?

Taxi is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. As you’d expect from Fox, the image looks very good and presents no serious problems. The print is in great condition and free from defects, which is to be expected since the film went from theaters in a matter of a few months. The contrast is even handed and never becomes too dark, which means detail is never obscured in the least. No errors surface in terms of color either, as the hues remains vivid and flesh tones look natural also. I knew this would be another great transfer from Fox and of course, I was right in that assumption.

Audio: How does it sound?

This film is driven by its comic roots, which don’t deliver much in terms of audio, but there’s also quite a bit of action to be heard. As you’d guess from a movie called Taxi, you’ll see car chases and those sequences provide some memorable audio. The included Dolby Digital 5.1 option offers frequent and potent use of the surrounds, so if you like juiced surround presence, this is your flick. I think the mix is over the top at times, but that fits in with the tone of the movie, so no harm done. So when the action heats up, the surrounds come to life, while more laid back scenes also sound terrific. The music is loud and puts the surrounds to good use also, while dialogue is smooth and clean throughout. This disc also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

I have to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to sitting through the supplements for this movie, so I am sorry if this section isn’t that detailed. The film itself is an extended version and since I didn’t see the movie in theaters, I can’t comments on any variations. A total of five behind the scenes featurettes are next, including the passable Comedy Central: Reel Comedy piece. As expected, these featurettes don’t offer much beyond promotional fluff, but if you like the movie, then you’ll like these. This disc also includes some deleted scenes, as well as an audio commentary track with director Tim Story. I couldn’t bring myself to listen to Story’s session, but I hope he was honest and apologized for this disaster.

Disc Scores

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