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The feature film directing debut of Spike Lee protege Lee Davis takes the viewer into the world of taxi drivers. Developed in the Sundance Laboratory, this film offers dove-tailing stories centering on the lives of individual taxi drivers as they reflect on and experience romance, politics, sociology, and spirituality. Written by
L. J. Allen-2
During a day we follow that of a couple of taxi drivers in New York who focus and reflect on the important things and problems about their lives with each other. First off the cab there's Hershey who was a former Knicks player and after a serious injury his life went down the drain, where we learn that his having a bit trouble committing to his girlfriend George. Second follows that of a young, hard-eyed woman Salgado who believes her horrific past has come back to destroy her and finally a Bosnian immigrant Rasha who can't keep his mind on the job, therefore he gets in a lot of car accidents and maybe one real fatal one too. To make matters worse for these folks, there's a serial killer targeting taxi drivers.
There's a lot stuff going on in these characters' heads, but the meter is still running! Like others I felt a bit conned, as I believed this was a serial killer flick like the package seems advertise, but actually it's far from it. As this certain aspect of the premise is more a background tool for the bigger picture. But that in mind it's still a fair film by capturing the rough-and-tumble slice of reality with the always-moving city-life. Where we get a life in a day of a taxi driver with a whole lot of issues facing these patrons like love to life-making decisions. But it's main problem was that the plot has way too much going amongst its unfocused narrative and it's cluttered with people coming and going with some receiving too little insight of their ever-growing situations. The film was just too short with what they had to say here, giving no real sense of closure by spreading too much over this canvass. Simply they could have left out some of these sub-plots that were briskly concluded or like I said before -- up the running time to get a little more meat out of those stories instead of the incomplete feel we do get from it. The story does lack cohesion since we follow three different stories, but it keeps one intrigue on how things are going to play out, even though some things lack bite, get a bit sentimental and take the easy option out. The chatty (but very raw) script milks basically anything of importance, where we get to the character's outlook on life and watch density shine through, while they play their luck. The character's interactions are naturally good and they are always kept busy and have a decent sense of humour, which always goes down well. The direction by Lee Davis (who has been under the wing of Spike Lee and making his directorial debut) is competently done with some flashy imprints, quick moving pace and he manages stage a thickly layered atmosphere of uncertainty and darkness of New York. The slick editing doesn't distract and on hand is mostly a smooth jazzy score that fits right in. The performances are nothing too special, but I thought the main leads Danny Glover, Pam Grier, Michelle Rodriguez, Sergej Trifunovic and Sarita Choudhury handled their roles in a fine manner. There's also a small cameo part by Spike Lee.
This (old Sundance) feature is a decent time waster, but it's ambitious attitude tries for too much in too little time. So the question is; is it worth the fare?
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