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