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"The best way to describe this movie in a nutshell is: the opposite of Driving Miss Daisy.  It's a black woman driving a white man, and instead of going around on errands, they chase bad guys.   That was probably the pitch.."










The Masked Reviewer

It may be hard to find a cab during rush hour in downtown Manhattan, but it won't be hard to find the new film Taxi, because it's playing in a theater near you!


Okay, maybe that's not the most hilarious of opening lines for a review that the Masked Reviewer has ever written, but it might be completely appropriate for Taxi, which is not the most hilarious of movies ever made.  Quid pro quo, Clarice.

The good news about Taxi is that it is not a Lorne Michaels "Saturday Night Live" production.  You won't see any cameos by Horatio Sanz or Molly Shannon, so fear not.  There's no need to send angry letters to the Masked Reviewer; he fully appreciates the talent of Horatio Sanz and...well...Molly Shannon...sure seems to be a polite woman.

Jimmy Fallon co-stars with Queen Latifah.  Latifah is Arabic for "delicate and sensitive."  That name  might still get her on a "no-fly" list, but she might fare better than Cat Stevens (aka Yusef Islam, which is Arabic for "don't lose my luggage").  In any event, Jimmy Fallon (which is Norwegian for "gets laid a lot") and Queen Latifah have a good chemistry.  That's what you're supposed to say when two actors co-star in a film.  It's either "good" or "great" or "bad".  Sometimes they have "no chemistry".  With co-stars, it's all about the chemistry.

Have you ever said a word out loud too many times and thought about how weird it sounds?  Chemistry.  Chemistry.  Chemistry.  It's like yogurt.  Yo-gurt.  It just doesn't sound like a word.  Someone should make a movie about that.

Jimmy Fallon's character  is a likeable schlub.  For someone who is often mentioned as a highly desirable man (much like the Masked Reviewer), the idea is clear: pretend to be a little bit awkward and humble, and the women will want you even more.  It worked for Adam Sandler.  "Aw shucks" is a big hit with the ladies.

Both co-stars do a fine job.  They're likeable and they clearly like each other, which comes across on screen.  It's a buddy movie, with not too much time wasted on romance. 

If you like leggy supermodel types, Gisele Bundchen, Ana Cristina De Oliveira, Ingrid Vandebosch, and Magali Amadei will give you something to appreciate.  Since the Masked Reviewer doesn't give spoilers in his reviews, it will have to suffice to say that they play four characters that all look good.  In fact, one scene features Gisele Bundchen performing a slow, thorough pat down on another woman.  It's supposed to be funny, and it is, but it's also pretty hot.

Ann Margaret makes a memorable appearance  in the film and is one of the highlights.  Also appearing is Henry Simmons from "NYPD Blue". 

For some reason, they named a garbage man in the movie "Anthony Scalia".  This got absolutely no reaction from the audience at all, but for those of you who don't know, Anthony Scalia is a Supreme Court justice.  Perhaps this was a political statement.  It was a bit confusing, particularly because the character had a nametag that said "John".

The believability will be an issue for some viewers.  In an early scene, someone has to get from midtown Manhattan to JFK in 15 minutes.  Come on!  What happened to suspension of disbelief?  Maybe by helicopter.

The best way to describe this movie in a nutshell is: the opposite of Driving Miss Daisy.  It's a black woman driving a white man, and instead of going around on errands, they chase bad guys.   That was probably the pitch.

In fact, the movie is based on a film by Luc Besson from a few years ago.  Supposedly, the film featured unbelievable driving scenes.  There are some nifty maneuvers on the road in Taxi, but nothing you'll want to go out and try to do yourself.  The car itself is pretty cool, but the niftiness wears thin quickly.

The biggest problem with the movie is that almost every single big joke is tipped in the previews and trailers.  There are longer set-ups, but the punchlines have been blown.  None of the jokes are that big to begin with, but the trailer will give you a very good sense of what you'll get out of the whole shebang. 

That being said, it's not a bad movie.  It's worth a few chuckles.  Nothing is taken too seriously and it moves along briskly.  Fans of Queen Latifah and of Jimmy Fallon won't leave the theater feeling violated; and if you know nothing about either one of them, Taxi is still a pretty good time. 

If you do see it, be sure to stay for the outtakes at the beginning of the credits, there are a few good laughs to be had there, too.


Expectation from the Title: The long awaited cinematic adaptation of the adventures of Jim, Elaine, Louie, Alex, and Latka.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Queen Latifah looks like an excellent driver.

The Pros: Good chemistry, a couple of decent laughs.

The Cons: Almost everything ruined by the trailer; not enough big laughs.

If you're looking for information on Jimmy Falon, you've come to the right place too.

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