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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Taxi (2004)

Taxi (2004)


Picture: B     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Film: C-



Jimmy Fallon is a funny guy, so funny that he always starts laughing before he can finish any of his skit performances, so who knows how many takes he had to do on each scene for Tim Story’s unfortunate, exaggerated remake of Luc Besson’s grossly overrated Taxi in 2004.  It did seem like a good idea to co-star with red-hot Queen Latifah, but she is far from the high quality of Chicago and a few light years from her incredible, underrated performance in the underrated Set It Off.


The two are talented and likable, but this film is a wreck, giving Latifah’s new taxi driver a cab that has as much gadgets as a car ripping off James Bond’s Aston Martin, but faster that you can say “hooptie”, the screenplay by Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon and Jim Kouf runs out of gas faster than a massive OPEC shutdown.  The jokes are not funny, and Bringing Down The House, a loosely narrative film with some surprisingly big laughs, looks like a comedy classic by comparison.  Part of the problem is that the film does not take the risks of that huge hit and Fallon is not quite in the position of mastery Steve Martin is at his best.  Jennifer Esposito looks great and it is always a plus when Ann-Margaret (or the lady with two first names, as Dean Martin once called her) shows up.  Too bad everyone is wasted in a forgettable production.  Besson produced, continuing his string of extremely overrated features, with this one as annoying as ever, even though he was not there!


That is a shame, since the film looks good and especially so in the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 transfer, as shot by cinematographer Vance Burberry.  If anyone becomes a beneficiary of this film (and it will not be the audience), it is he, as this is a solid picture with solid color range throughout.  As a matter of fact, only as a picture demo is this disc worth anything in the long term, so the stars can at least be happy, because every side they show is a good one thanks to him.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is a disappointment, especially in the Hip Hop portions, with the Dolby unable to handle the full range of bass and depth.  Too bad Fox did not add DTS, as that would have made this more of a demo.  Extras includes deleted scenes that would have not helped the film, five featurettes which never explains why the film failed, trailers for the film and an Inside Look at a new Martin Lawrence comedy that does not look very good.  Unless you are curious beyond words or a big fan of one of the actors, do not take this Taxi, as you would be better off hitchhiking.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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