"Fun Ride, but Beware"
What You Need To Know:
TAXI is surprisingly funny and effective. Certain parts are silly, but the movie is fast-paced and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The actors’ easygoing chemistry makes for a few good laughs, and the chase scenes lend variety. Families will be disturbed to see the high foul language count, however. This should have been cut down considerably and even eliminated. On the good side, the movie clearly defines moral lines. The bank robbers are clearly the bad guys, and they are caught in the end. Although Fallon’s police detective is a goofball, he’s good-natured and cares about his job. Overall, TAXI is a fun movie that limits its audience with too much foul language, jokes about drinking and brief sexual innuendo.
(B, LLL, VV, N, AA, M) Light moral worldview with dedicated cop and do-gooder citizen; 29 mostly light obscenities, nine profanities, and racial epithet used ironically in a rap song; action violence with car chases, cars driving through windows, people shot, and punching; no sex scenes, but kissing and suggestive frisking; no overt sexual nudity, but part of one woman’s bra is shown and women in bikinis; drunkenness, implied alcoholism and jokes about drinking; no smoking; and, bank robbery, petty theft and outrunning police to avoid speeding ticket.
TAXI is surprisingly funny and effective, much better than many formula comedies.
Jimmy Fallon stars as Andy Washburn, a hard-working cop with a string of bad luck and a terrible driving record. Queen Latifah is Belle, a daredevil taxi driver who gets roped into helping Fallon chase a mob of bank robbers. Their collaboration results in some traffic mayhem, so Washburn’s boss takes him off the case and confiscates Belle’s taxicab. Washburn tries to get back on the case, and Belle tries to get back her cab.
Part of the concept is that Latifah’s taxicab has been outfitted with boosters and accelerators so that it drives at NASCAR-like speeds. This part is silly, but the movie is fast-paced and does not take itself too seriously, so it does not detract from the movie’s fun. Fallon and Latifah’s easygoing chemistry also makes for a few good laughs. The chase scenes top it all off by lending some variety.
Even so, families will be disturbed to see the high foul language count, which could have been cut down considerably. There are no ‘f’ words, however, and only two strong obscenities.
On the good side, the movie clearly defines moral lines. The bank robbers are clearly the bad guys, and they are caught in the end. Although Fallon’s police detective is a goofball, he’s good-natured and cares about his job. He is a good example of a policeman, not the mindless buffoons of STARSKY AND HUTCH.
Overall, TAXI is a fun movie that, regrettably, limits its audience with too much foul language, jokes about drinking and brief sexual innuendo. Action-comedy movies often fail to be either funny or exciting, but TAXI does some of both and does them pretty well.