A dark movie which inspired John Hinkley to shoot President Reagan, TAXI DRIVER has been re-released as a modern classic in moviemaking. Technically brilliant, it is a tome to the horrors of isolationism. Travis Bickle, played by Robert DeNiro, takes a lonely job driving a taxi in New York City. One day, he notices Betsy who works for a Senator running for the presidency. Travis takes her to a porno movie. Disgusted, she leaves, and Travis becomes a sociopath. He buys an arsenal of guns and befriends a young teenage hooker named Iris. Travis decides to shoot the Senator, but when he can’t get a clean shot off, he comes after Iris’s pimp and other low-life criminals. Travis is celebrated as a hero, Iris’s parents applaud him for returning her to them, and Travis continues driving, supposedly without any lifestyle change.
Gritty, well-paced, well-acted and creatively photographed, it deserves some praise for it’s production value. Yet, it is a celebration of vigilantism and decadence. Travis is looking for love and acceptance but he finds none. He has compassion on a young prostitute, but he expresses it in violence. He complains about the filth and decay of the city, but only contributes to it himself. It consistently maintains a mood of hopelessness and depression.
(Pa, LLL, VVV, S, A, D, M) Pagan worldview promoting vigilantism with strong nihilistic elements; 38 obscenities & 12 profanities; brief but extreme violence including several point blank murders with bloodshed; man frequents pornographic movie houses, man takes woman to pornographic movie & prostitution; alcohol use; drug use implied; and, illegal gun sales, hatred & extreme depression expressed