Taken for a Ride
Okay, I think I’ve figured it out. Taxi was shot about ten years ago and has been sitting in the can, eagerly awaiting the moment when Jimmy Fallon finally broke out as the next big SNL thing, as the new Mike Myers or something, but the producers finally gave up on Fallon and figured they’d just dump the movie out into the autumn pre-
But… wait. Fallon’s only been failing to distinguish himself as a cast member of Saturday Night Live since 1998… and this is a remake of a French film by Luc Besson from that same year…
No, I guess I don’t understand at all.
Maybe it’s like a wormhole/
The real question is, though: Where is that dark, cramped box, and can we lock Jimmy Fallon in there before he makes another movie? The man is an astrophysical wonder himself, a black hole of funny, a yawning void of charisma. He’s like the wannabe class clown who, because he is incapable of forcing himself into the center ring by being humorous, decides that getting attention by being obnoxious and annoying will do instead. And he’s not even good at that, either: Fallon has nothing, not the manic energy of a Jim Carrey that makes you want to medicate him so he’ll sit still for five minutes, not the skin-
Cuz it ain’t just the outdated attempts at humor or the blandness of its “star” that hurts. There’s the painful “buddy cop” stuff between Fallon and Queen Latifah (Bringing Down the House, Chicago), who is way too good for this junk, who squashes Fallon like he’s a bug on the windshield of the taxi she hauls his sorry ass around in, which is kind of a metaphor for the movie, she and her Major Movie Star Charm carrying him and his vacuity (or trying to; it’s not an easy task). There’re the incoherent car chases featuring the first CGI stunt driving I’ve seen and nonexistent Manhattan alleyways: Taxi, it seems, was partly shot in the Southern California section of New York City, with scenes that actually jump from LA to NYC and back again from one shot to the next. There’s a big wide open freeway… there’s Central Park West… there’s a street in Beverly Hills….
But wait, there’s so much more to hate. How about Ann-
The worst of it might be this: The plot, which is skimpier than Gisele’s costumes, turns on a New York City law so obscure that it’s entirely invented. Alternate side of the street parking is to accommodate street cleaning, not garbage collection. Sheesh. Anybody who doesn’t know that shouldn’t be allowed to make a movie in NYC… even if it was made mostly in Los Angeles.