Taxi (I) (1998)
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The movie was written and produced by Luc Besson, director of such films as Leon (aka The Professional in the USA), The Fifth Element (with Bruce Willis), Kiss of the Dragon (with Jet Li and Bridget Fonda) and Nikita (aka La Femme Nikita in the USA).
The story follows Daniel, a moped pizza delivery guy who has worked to fulfill his dream of becoming a Marseilles taxi driver. He has tuned and tweaked his own taxi into something a little special... something a little out of the ordinary... I don't want to give the game away so I'll leave it there!
The film is a fast paced thrill ride that crosses the boundaries of action, comedy, romance, farce and buddy movie amongst many other genres. The characters are likeable, the humour is quick and snappy and the driving is fast and furious (some of the best chases seen on screen for a few years). After a short while you barely realise that you are reading the subtitles. The storyline may not be particularly original but it is well executed overall. The soundtrack is funky and fits in perfectly with the film.
It's not Shakespeare, but it never sets out to be Shakespeare. So if you are looking for a nicely shot film, suitable for just about anyone, give it a try.
It's got style and it's got speed.
What more do you want?
Fortunately for Daniel the police has some trouble with a Mercedes-gang. Bank robbers who even inform the police before they rob a bank, with a Mercedes as the getaway car. Since Daniel knows much of cars he can help Émilien solve the case and keep his drivers license. Émilien desperately wants to solve this case because he wants to impress Petra (Emma Sjöberg), the girl he is in love with but always looks down on him. Daniel agrees since his driving is his life. He has to miss a lot of quality time with his girlfriend Lilly (Marion Cotillard) for this.
I agree with you if you say the story sounds familiar. That part is not very original although it has some original touches. Daniel, for example, was a pizza delivery boy before he started his job as a taxi driver and the early scenes that deal with this fact are a lot of fun to watch. But the story is not what 'Taxi' is about. It is about funny moments and some good action. I have to admit there are plenty of funny moments, every scene between Daniel and Lilly is terrific, the action looks good and the cinematography for this kind of movie is perfect. Although the character of Daniel can get on your nerves, a little too much of a wise guy, Samy Naceri does a nice job portraying him.
In the end I enjoyed this movie very much. The clichés and simple choices sometimes (the bad guy grabs his gun the minute Émilien reveals himself as a police officer who wants to ask some questions) can not spoil the fun the movie has, and therefore the audience. Don't expect a 'Lethal Weapon' but it is not that far from it.
The down side of the movie is that it has a very bad plot and some boring scenes.But it is all worth it when the car scenes come. The dialogue is sometimes very funny and so is the french police.
So if you like fast cars and incompetent police officers then this is the movie for you.
The motion picture blends action packed, cars pursuits, humor, shootouts, rip roaring and is pretty amusing. From the start to the ending the action pace is fast moving, provides fast and furious entertainment with spectacular scenes.Displays nonstop action and is extremely bemusing and hilarious. There are chases galore in breathtaking velocity and with impressive finale race cars, filmed by magnificent stunts and excellent visual effects. Luminous cinematography and adequate musical score fitting to action by Akhenaton. The picture is lavishly produced by great producer and director Luc Besson and well directed by Gerard Pirés. Followed by three sequels : Taxi 2(2000), Taxi 3(2003) y Taxi 4(2007), all directed by Gerard Kraczyc and same actors and an American version with Queen Lafitah and directed by Tim Story. The flick will like to adrenaline lovers and those young people looking amusing and strong emotions, It's a must see for the cars buffs.
A mismatched pair of heroes is pretty much standard in action films (Lethal Weapon being the most famous case), but here is works well as they manage to be more than just stereotypes and are believable even if their circumstances aren't. Both characters come across as real people, flawed, but likeable, especially the roguishly charming Daniel.
Despite being an action film, special-effects are kept to a minimum and although they are a large part of the film, the high speed car sequences are never self-indulgent, peppered with humour and brilliantly directed so as to hold the attention of even of the most "seen it all before" viewers (i.e. me).
All in all a refreshing change from Hollywood comedy or action films and one which I would happily watch again and again.
I am VERY glad I did, this film is excellent, and put me onto the path of discovering foreign cinema by starting at the best. Sure it may not have the high budget thrills that Hollywood seem to think are necessary in such films but for breathtaking action and some hilarious comedy moments Taxi is amazing. Filmed on location for a lot of it, there are some stunning shots of Marsielle, the marina and countryside etc.
So for brilliant action, comedy, and a fair bit of sexiness, Taxi is an ideal film. Tres bon!
Taxi is one part racing, one part buddy cop flick. The formula works well here, though there's less racing than I would have liked. The movie is entertaining throughout, though the storyline remains a bit on the thin side.
Conclusion: It is an OK French comedy/action. Fun to watch but might be rated fairly. I mean this movie is not very bad and not very good. This movie is on the middle side.
The Taxi-driver Daniel dreams of becoming a race-driver. But in the meantime he plagues the streets of Marseilles with his severely customized Peugeot. When robberies are being made by criminals in high-speed cars, the police enlist the help of Daniel and his car.
The plot is, like i said, nothing new. But still this movie is an entertaining ride, filled with both good portions of comedy as well as car-chases. The actors mostly do their parts, even though i feel the acting leaves a bit more to wish for. Especially Samy Naceri in the lead is more annoying than fun. Bernard Farcy as the police captain is hilarious though.
I recommend this to people who like watching car-chases and fast-paced light comedy. It might not be revolutionary, but it's fun. I rate it 6/10.
The story is of a useless cop who freezes when he gets behind a car's wheel, and then on the other side we have Daniel who was a pizza legend driver of scooters until he finally got his taxi license and decided to become a taxi driver, as the two meet in a lucky circumstances Daniel is forced work for Émilien. The two become friends in their struggle of having a social life and form a bond.
The film has great chemistry between all of the actors, and incredible driving scenes. in my opinion better filmed and better executed then the Fast and the furious films.
If you get the chance to see this film either Subbed or Dubbed.
Pizza delivery boy Daniel Morales drives his own unlicensed taxi and one day makes the mistake of driving ( In his own illegal manner ) Emilien to his place of work which is bad news for Daniel because Emilien is a police inspector . Daniel is given the choice of helping the police catch a bunch of German bank robbers dubbed " The Mercedes Gang " or lose his driving license
Did I say this was entertaining ? It's also very likable and much of that's down to Besson's screenplay which is devoid of the sometimes sickening violence which did spoil for me NIKITA and LEON and they only hint that it was written by Besson being the fact that policemen are stupid . You do get the impression from all of his movies that Besson has a pathological dislike of cops but thankfully he doesn't get too polemical this time . Director Gerard Pires complements the screenplay by casting two young and likable actors in the lead roles
There are a couple of flaws to TAXI . While being the chase and crash sequences are well directed it's unlikely cars flip up into the air as seen here . There's also a plot hole in that if the cops know where the raids are going to take place they don't bring in helicopter surveillence , but again being a Besson script the police are portrayed as being terminally stupid so I don't know if it's a plot hole as such . One thing that did annoy me is Daniel and Emilien sharing a joint which is a scene that certainly wasn't needed in the film
But I saw several films the day I saw this and TAXI was undoubtedly the best movie I saw that day . It's not too difficult to see why the French film industry has been so successful over the years
Think Cannonball Run meets BMX Bandits meets Touring Car racing and you've got the drift.
Some may say that the movie has to much gas and not enough brains - so what? That's exactly what the movie was supposed to be, and it's done well. It provides laughs and action, and if you speak french, the french language version is actually a lot better and wittier than the subtitles.
The soundtrack has some top-rate french hip-hop artists, and was a big seller in its own right. I just wish the movie was easier to find in video stores.
The plot is simple, the super cool taxi driver, loses his driving license (for speeding). The only way he can get it back it to work with the people he hates most (the police).
A chase/caper comedy film ensues. This film isn't all laughs but its definatly one of my favorite films of all time.
If you like this film but would like to see something more serious (and French) take a look at "La Haine".
The cast of unknowns are also spot on. Samy Naceri and Frédéric Diefenthal are a great double act as Daniel the savvy, sexy speed demon taxi driver and Emilien the handsome but hapless non-driving cop. Marion Cotillard is drool inducing as Daniel's long suffering girlfriend Lilly and the aptly named Bernard Farcy is excellent as the prejudiced police chief with a penchant for stupid operation monikers.
The film is very tightly shot with plenty of action (car chases and the like) but the witty script and great performances make it far more than your standard actioner. It also boasts a kicking soundtrack and some great set pieces. I cannot overemphasise how impressive this film is and it's a crying shame that, being French, it isn't more widely appreciated.