Taxi Review

A taxi driver and partner-in-crime go on a clean-spree to thwart criminals everywhere and catch a couple of hearts while they're at it.

by Mark Dinning |
Published on
Release Date:

26 Nov 1999

Running Time:

85 minutes



Original Title:


From the simplistic grandeur of The Big Blue to the plot-flawed, visual majesty of The Fifth Element, it's clear where Luc Besson stands on the style-over-substance debate. To wit, in Taxi -as writer-producer -he continues to explore banality with eye-catching panache.

Made in a reputed 30 days, this film equivalent of a 'holiday read' sees taxi driver Daniel (Naceri) and partner Emilien (Diefenthal), become embroiled in catching a gang of bank robbers (uncannily similar to Point Break's Ex-Presidents), while winning the hands of Lilly (Cotillard) and Petra (Sjöberg). Can they get the bad guys and the girls? Of course, but then, as we've seen with Besson before, it is not about where the characters are going - it's how they get there that counts. A breakneck credit sequence sets the high-speed tempo that never lets up over the film's disappointingly brief running time.

Likewise, the action sequences' slapstick cartoon realism contributes to a feel reminiscent of an early Jackie Chan vehicle. As well as the mania, a hint of particularly wry humour and some ill-fated bed-hopping shenanigans are added to give an eminently amusing and terrifically exciting end product. Ultimately, a combination of the storyline's lack of depth and the generally uninspired direction of Gerard Pires is unlikely to win awards. Nonetheless, for a film that never tries to be anything but fun, such unashamed hedonism provides a hefty slice of entertainment at its most pure.

Incredibly fast and fun - so quick we don't get enough of it!
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