Taxi

Bomb Rating: 

I hope that my readers are now educated enough about bad movies that there's no need for me to go into any great detail about why this is simply the dumbest idea on the face of the Earth.

It seems to me that the bloopers reel once tacked on to the end of films in an attempt to be cute is now just an admission by the director that the film is a piece of crap. In the case of "Taxi," either director Tim Story is too stupid to recognize that his film isn't interesting enough for anyone to care about the bloopers or he's offering up the bloopers as a sort of apology for the rest of the movie not being funny.

Ironically, "Taxi" is framed between the blooper reel and an opening sequence that signals to any rational filmgoer that somebody in charge of this film has his head up his ass. Basically, the credits roll as we watch a bike messenger barrel through the streets of New York City, pulling off stunts that are nearly impossible and quite obviously involve lots of CG work. When the messenger finally skids to a stop, setting some kind of a record for the cross-town trip, she removes her helmet and -– WAAAA? -- it's Queen Latifah! It's one thing to suggest that Queen Latifah could belt out a show tune in a movie like "Chicago." Most people heard her sing in that movie and thought, "Wow, I'm used to hearing Queen Latifah sing rap. I didn't know she could sing show tunes." This is a far cry from: "I didn't know she could also bike across Manhattan at 100 miles per hour." Given that quantum leap and the magic of digital effects, I half expected the next scene to feature her smashing a city bus to bits with her penis.

If that suspension of disbelief wasn't enough, it's followed with Jimmy Fallon as Washburn, some kind of New York City cop. I'm not sure whether he's a beat cop or a detective, but the film doesn't seem to care. His commanding officer is Lt. Marta Robbins (Jennifer Esposito) and she and Washburn used to date. I spent most of the film trying to figure out which was less believable: that the moron Washburn has somehow kept his job as a cop for all this time, or that Jimmy Fallon could actually date Jennifer Esposito. Combine the two and the laws of the universe –- even the make-believe universe -- start to bend dangerously.

Washburn's idiocy is further enhanced with this creative plot device: He's a terrible driver. In fact, he's so terrible that he can't pull out of a parking space. As such, he ends up taking Belle's (Queen Latifah) cab to a bank robbery. The bank robbers are headed by –- WAAAA? -- model Gisele Bundchen as Vanessa, and they drive a souped-up BMW which allows Belle to chase them in her souped-up taxi.

Amazingly, matters get even more ridiculous when we learn of the bank robbers' master plan: They steal the money and then drop trash bags full of it right outside the bank where a trash guy picks it up while they drive away. The trash guy is in on the crime because the robbers are holding his wife hostage. Frankly, I hope that my readers are now educated enough about bad movies that there's no need for me to go into any great detail about why this is simply the dumbest idea on the face of the Earth.

The humor in "Taxi" isn't found in the audience laughing at the situations, but rather in the entire multiplex staff peeking into the theater and laughing at any person stupid enough to actually pay money to watch this thing.

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