Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Taxi (1998)

Daniel (Samy Naceri) is a pizza delivery guy with a clear need for speed. He ditches his moped for a souped-up taxi, only to take a fare that ends in a series of insane car chases that provide the highlights of this likeable but pot-holed film.

Poor puns aside, whenever the movie hits action mode it's good fun, but the filler plot bits in-between really apply the brakes on any momentum that this two-speed vehicle has. These moments occur between Daniel and police inspector Emilien (Frédéric Diefenthal). They form a "48 Hours"-style duo, with Daniel reluctantly providing his driving skills to Emilien after he nabs him for excessive speeding. They go on a hunt to trap the 'Mercedes Gang' that is using high-speed cars to make getaways from their big money crimes.

Cue some superb car chases, choreographed not only with consummate skill but also filmed to derive maximum excitement from the breakneck automotive interplay. Sadly, these set-pieces are punctuated with 'humorous' exchanges between Daniel and Emilien that are crushingly embarrassing in the extreme. Every joke falls flat as bizarre little tangents are afforded time in a film that stalls at exactly the wrong moments.

Contrast the dialogue-led troughs with the humour-laden car chase highs, and there's an imbalance that ruins any chance for the viewer to grab even a minor emotional toehold on our mismatched buddy twosome. There's still fun to be had from this film when it's in motion, but the script is a real blow out.

Read a review of the "Taxi" DVD and the sequel "Taxi 2".

End Credits

Director: Gérard Pirè

Writer: Luc Besson

Stars: Samy Naceri, Frédéric Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Manuela Gouray, Emma Sjöberg, Bernard Farcy

Genre: Thriller, Action

Original: 1998

DVD: 10 April 2000

VHS: 14 August 2001

Country: France

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