The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Taxi

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Judy Thorburn

Taxi

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

THIS “TAXI” RIDE IS WORTH THE FARE

Sometimes realization is greater than expectation.  Such is the case for me after I viewed the latest action comedy, Taxi, based on Luc Besson’s 1998 French hit of the same name, starring Queen Latifah and recently exited Saturday Night Live cast member, Jimmy Fallon.  I was anticipating this film to be just more of the same silly and very forgetful pieces of drivel to show up on the movie screen at the close of summer.

But, what I saw came as an unexpected and pleasant surprise. I certainly didn’t expect the pairing of ample figured “Queen” and the slight built, Fallon to work.  But, they actually wind up having a fair amount of humorous chemistry in this set up of a mismatched duo out to solve a series of bank heists.

Queen Latifah is Belle Williams, probably the fastest bicycle messenger to cover Manhattan. We meet her on the last day of her job as she is speedily swerving through hectic traffic before arriving at her destination, at work where her fellow messengers bid her farewell and good luck in her new endeavor. A brand new yellow cab has replaced a bike in fulfilling Belle’s dream of being independent and owning and driving her very own taxi.   But, this isn’t your ordinary taxi.  Her taxi is a special souped up, high tech, turbo charged vehicle, the likes of something James Bond would drive with all its extraordinary extras. Of course, this super car comes in handy after Belle winds up with bumbling police officer Washburn (Fallon) in her cab.  Washburn has overheard about a bank robbery taking place a few blocks away.  But, with his driving license suspended as a result of awful driving skills, jumping into Belle’s cab seems like the best way to go after the robbers in hopes of apprehending them.

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Latifah plays a sassy and strong woman who just wants to get home to gorgeous hunk of a boyfriend, Jesse (Henry Simmons) after a day’s work, but gets caught up in one unwanted situation after another as Washburn’s sidekick.  Washburn (Fallon), on the other hand is eager to prove himself as a capable cop, after his boss and former girlfriend Lt. Marta Robbins (appealing Jennifer Esposito) is fed up with his continuous inept ability to handle a job.  One thing leads to another, and when Belle is convinced to help Washburn go after the thieves, the inevitable car chases and humorous interactions between the two unlikely pair ensue.

Fallon is OK in his first major film role. He has a few good moments on his own; the best being at the beginning when he tries to impersonate a Cuban thug, accent and all, during a sting operation that goes bad. Fallon seems most comfortable in a SNL type sequence, of which this could have been a sketch.   But, I doubt if he could have carried the entire movie on his own. Lucky for him, he got the likeable Queen to bounce off of.  Co-star Latifah is the attention grabber with her great comic timing, fantastic facial expressions and lots of charm.  We all know she can handle comedy from her past film resume (Cookout, Bringing Down the House, among others).  However, I am disappointed that the “Queen” hasn’t moved on to bigger and BETTER things since her Academy Award nominated performance in Chicago.

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The biggest surprise in this film is seeing former 60’s sex kitten, Ann Margret take on the   role of Washburn’s sweet natured, but very tipsy, as in boozed up mother.  She is hilarious!  Yet, I can’t help but think there is something very sad seeing this former screen goddess looking so disheveled and old. But, work is work, when you are over the hill in Hollywood. Sorry, but true!

As for the gang of thieves, they happen to be a quartet of drop dead gorgeous Brazilian model types, led by real life super model Gisele Bundchen (Leonardo Di Caprio’s sweetie).  Not much acting is required for this bevy of beauties.  All they really need to do is look hot in their skimpy clothes (when they are not in heist mode) and make like they are actually behind the wheel, during the obligatory, unbelievable car chases.

No doubt, Taxi is formulaic.  But, essentially there are enough fun filled moments in this fast paced, action buddy comedy to make it worthy enough to recommend.  Or to put it better, the ride is worth the fare.