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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Car Chases > French > Taxi (1998/Umbrella Entertainment/Region Four/4/PAL DVD Set)

Taxi (1998/Umbrella Entertainment/Region Four/4/PAL DVD Set)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Film: C-



PLEASE NOTE: This TV show on DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Four/4/PAL format software, and can be ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.


Except for the impressive vehicle driving from a troop (about two dozen of them) under the name of the legendary Remy Julienne, Gérard Pirés’s Taxi (1998) is one of the most overrated films in recent French cinema and by following the tired formulas of producer Luc Besson, it has inspired three home-grown sequels and an equally terrible Hollywood remake with Queen Latifah and comedian-finally-found-a-talk-show Jimmy Fallon.


Now out on DVD from Umbrella, Samy Naceri plays a pizza delivery guy who gets to move up to the title vehicle, loaded with more extras than anything in the Fast & Furious films.  Very self-impressed and beyond predictable, the only highlight here is that the film has a good early performance from Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose, Public Enemies) as “the girl” Lilly Bertineau who returns in the French sequels.  Needless to say, she steals every scene she’s in and is one of the primary reasons anyone still talks about this film.


Otherwise, each action sequence (harking back to the work of the original Italian Job by Julienne himself, whose work of the James Bond films is also impressive) could have been a documentary without the silliness.  Sending up Tarantino doesn’t work as a joke for long, but they beat that to death too.  It quits at 86 minutes and that still seems to long, especially with the reference to John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix (1966, reviewed elsewhere on this site) which is a real slap in the face.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is softer than I expected, especially with the better PAL format, but it is color consistent and the print is not bad.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is on the weak side with weak surrounds for whatever reason making for an unexciting combination.  The only extras are the original trailers.



As noted above, you can order this import DVD exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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