Taxi (1998) Poster

(I) (1998)

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Cool, Clean, Comic, Car Caper on Crack!
RICH!3 December 1999
Why do people take films such as this SO seriously. Besson doesn't have to make the same film every time, he might want to do something for a laugh at some point, and that's what he's done here. The film is COOL to the maximum from the setting to the acting to the location to the soundtrack. It is a well rounded little baby of a film that Besson has knocked up in his spare time and just proves what an all round top bloke he is. Go see this film with an open mind and you can't fault it simple easy clean storyline lets the movie flow and move easily and when you stack on the petrolhead action on top of the layer of humour (which was okay) and put between good start sequence and highly amusing plot ending bread, you've got a veritable good movie sandwich. Once again French film is proven to be quite brilliant. Give this to some blockbuster US outfit and they'll create some half-assed dross that feels like walking through bubblegum. Instead its quick, slick and an all round top flick. Only the Italian Job comes close.
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A great film all round!
chalkoutline5 December 2002
In my opinion this is the one of the best mainstream French movies in a long while. I know that for many of us subtitled French movies are not regular choices. The film didn't break any UK/USA box office records (presumably as people were put of by its subtitles and french origins) which is a real shame. Well why should you give this one a try? Here goes...

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.
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Nice French action comedy
rbverhoef3 May 2004
Written by Luc Besson (director of 'Léon' and 'The Fifth Element') this French film is funnier and with better action than most American blockbusters. It tells the story of Daniel (Samy Naceri) who starts as a taxi driver. He is an excellent driver but he never rides by the rules. With the police his taxi is famous, although they have never caught him or even seen a license plate. One day Daniel takes a woman Camille (Manuela Gourary) to her home and she says she will keep his card to call again. She does when her son Émilien (Frédéric Diefenthal) needs a ride. Daniel, who thinks Émilien works with IBM, of course disobeys all the rules and at the end of the ride Émilien reveals his true identity.

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.
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Fast & Funny
bob the moo26 July 2001
A light film - the comedy is refreshingly simple and not slapstick style. Also the car chases are mostly pretty simple and not full of the excesses of Hollywood movies where everything MUST crash and everything MUST blow up in big style.

It's got style and it's got speed.

What more do you want?
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Proves that the French just do it better.
dmc10220 December 2003
This movie is fantastic. It is simply an all action car chase romp set in the French city of Marseilles. The acting is highly convincing, the direction is fresh and modern and the film is easily the best car movie in years. Followed by two sequels, the film makers have kept the film very French without resorting to American-style CGI effects or bland super star actors. As a French speaker, I watched the film in its original language with subtitles in english incase I got lost. I would recommend watching the film in French to everyone, it's much better than the dubbed version. One of France's biggest films of the modern years, let's hope they keep the sequels rolling on!
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I just love the car scenes.
martymaster15 September 2001
This movie has some of the best car scenes ever filmed. The thing that make them so great is that they are filmed on the road in citys and not on closed racing tracks.Not only the driving is superb,but the way it is filmed just makes you wanna stand up and shout "bravo".

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.
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Lots of fun, action, laughters and spectacular race cars
ma-cortes2 June 2008
The movie is developed in Marseille where a pizza delivery named Daniel, (Sami Naceri) drives a scooter, though he ultimately gets his wishes, a taxi license. The foul-mouthed cabbie join forces with a bungler inspector, a loser named Emilien(Frederic Diefenthal). Daniel is the fastest cabman with an attractive fiancée(Marion Cotillard), while Emilian goes after a gorgeous Inspector woman(Emma Sjoberg) and commanded by chief Commissaire(Bernard Farcey). The police Inspector is a complete inept behind the car and under skirts his mother. When Daniel is caught for speed infraction, then he's forced to collaborate with Emilien. They pursue a gang of violent German banks robbers and when they are on the heels of the band , the crooks drive a speed demon pursued by the taxi in a fast and furious race cars. This action-comedy film chronicling the relationship between the narrow-minded cabdriver and a botcher cop.

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.
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A breath of fresh air
justine_310 September 2001
I normally avoid action films and car chases bore me, but I watched Taxi on a friend's recommendation and have to say that it is one of the best films I've seen in a long time. Everything about it is pure class which may be something to with it being French. The premise of the film is beautifully simple - a speed-freak taxi driver Daniel and an inept policeman have to work together to catch some bank robbers. The relatively trivial nature of their mission is the perfect vehicle (excuse the pun) for the ever-so French humour of the script. They aren't out to save the world or stop evil for the good of all mankind (as is too often the case in American action films), but both want to stop the criminals for their own purely selfish reasons. In this setting the witty banter of the heroes is perfectly natural, especially compared with the cliched one-liners said in the face of doom found in most films in this genre.

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.
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A most excellent film...
cooper-dale3 May 2006
I bought this film by accident, not realising it was French, and when I did I just stuck it in a cupboard and thought I'd pass it off onto someone else. Some months later I actually open it up and stick it in, thinking I'd may as well see what I'd bought.

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!
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Not much plot, but gob-full of jokes. See it!
pascal-harris19 October 2004
This is a very Gallic film indeed, but as a fan of French cinema - and of the French in general - I have to say that I enjoyed this film very much indeed. The plot is, I admit, weak in places. That doesn't matter though - this film isn't about cerebral entertainment, it's about car chases and jokes, and humour is something the French do very well. The car chases are spectacular - and far better, for my money, than the car chases featured in Gone in 60 Seconds, The Matrix Reloaded or The Fast and the Furious. Hollywood could do a lot worse than look over the Atlantic to see how car movies are made. Unfortunately, it now seems that they have but I didn't mean that they should copy the French, they need original ideas, but they also need to imitate the French flair. The jokes come thick and fast, and had me howling with laughter - it takes a lot of humour for me to forgive an absence of plot - this film has it in spades. So there you have it. Ignore the American rip off. Watch the original. You won't regret it.
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An OK French comedy!!!
kevin_blaze7 January 2002
Daniel is an aging pizza boy with only one thing on his mind - speed. For the past six years, he's waited for one day, and its finally here.the day he gets his taxi license. With his ride already souped up, Daniel is out on the streets in no time breaking speed limits. One passenger turns out to be Emilien, a bumbling police inspector who busts him. However, instead of sending him to jail, he makes a deal with Daniel - if Daniel helps him catch a gang of bank robbers, then Daniel's record will be wiped clean. Now the two must team up to stop the Mercedes Gang before they get away...again.

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.
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Klaus101318 March 2000
What a film! I had a list of films to watch on a plane and my last choice would have been the French one. But it was suggested to me and would have been ignorant not to have watched it. A thrill packed, speedy comedy. The car chases were superb and the French humour translated perfectly. I thought the subtitles might get in the way, but I was wrong. Half of the time you didn't even need to read them. I would recommend this to anyone who likes the thrill of driving fast and comedy thrown in for good measure. Don't let the subtiltles put you off...
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Typical French action movie
kurciasbezdalas10 February 2009
Maybe French movies aren't that well known in the world as American movies, but that doesn't mean they are worse. People usually are sceptic about watching films witch aren't from Hollywood, that's why many great French comedies were remade in Hollywood, but I think that people should give it a try, maybe those movies are made on a lower budged, but that doesn't mean they are less entertaining. Taxi is a typical French action movie. It has a lot of action sequences (in this part only shoot out's and car chases and they were all great), some comedy, style, great music and everything else what a great action flick needs.
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Mattias Petersson14 March 2005
French movies almost always appeals to me. There is a playful attitude to film-making in France that make their movies enjoyable even when the plot is paper-thin and the premise far from fantastic.

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.
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Vive la France!
jokkedrengen14 January 2002
This film is one of the best action-movies I've seen for the last few years. I want entertainment and that's what I get. The car-chases are really intense, you really get the expression that the speed is up. The humor might not be intelligent, but it's still a lot better than what you see in the majority of American action-movies. What really makes this movie a banger is the sound-track: French hip-hop at its very best. Like the genre or not, it really fits well into the movie. "Gentlemen, start your engines..."
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don't look at the score. This an extremely well made film. funny, fast and action paced
This is what movies should be like. It is an extremely well made film, It really has great script, which Luc Besson mastered and made this action comedy movie, just a fun to watch. I'm not a fan boy, but i do love this film. Although I do know that it is hard to find an English Dub, I enjoyed this film in Russian. Russians tend to dub more French films then America.

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.
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A totally awesome movie...
shadowman12313 October 2008
Luc Besson's Taxi is probably the best movie to have come out of France since...Jean Reno is Wasbi. Hollywood movies now days have well over-the-top action sequences with massive explosions and twists and turns. But however this is different, its reality based just pure fast fun with nothing wasted. The comedy is funny , the action is sharp and precise but the dialogue might be a little shaky and also there is an underdeveloped bonding plot which lets be honest not Luc Bessons best work. But where he success is seen is in the fact this is a fast paced action movie which is beautifully shot with that makes you realise that this is an cool action movie that makes Hollywood movies just look dull. A must see for both petrol heads and fans of action movies as well as foreign movies. When the french get it right ! they are spot on !
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Entertaining Comedy Thriller
Theo Robertson12 October 2005
I knew TAXI was a French film with a screenplay by Luc Besson but that was all I knew about it . I speculated that since it was written by Besson we'd be seeing a very violent thriller but that's not what TAXI turned out to be since it's an entertaining comedy

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
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What a blast
goffee29 April 2004
A film that you would have loved to watch as a kid but as been made for grown ups its laden with some sexy humour, loads of action and no worry about complex plots or overbearing drama. Being French there's no drivelish American sentiment or endless British posturing and class angst. Not a film to be taken seriously, its played for laughs and you don't really need the subtitles as most of the dialogue just flies by beneath the wheels of speeding Taxi's police cars and criminals on the Run.

Think Cannonball Run meets BMX Bandits meets Touring Car racing and you've got the drift.
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fast and funny
cefmadden16 June 2002
Taxi is exactly what it sets out to be - fast and funny. The somewhat pathetic police inspector is complemented well by the wisecracking, fast-driving taxi driver whom he is forced to work with (because he himself can't drive at all).

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.
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Fast, funny and French.
markpcom21 July 2001
This is an amazing film right from the word go. You have to take most of it with a pinch of salt, but it is so funny. The comedy is very european so I doubt many people will get it and this may be the films down fall.

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".
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I want a white 406
Dockelektro27 June 2001
If there is a movie which could influence me for the way it made me happy and satisfied, this was it. The distribution story of this movie here in Portugal was really sad. Planned to be released directly to video in March 2000, it received a theatre slot and premiered guess where: only in a theatre in the outskirts of the capital, where it showed for a week. That made me sad, and meant that the video release would be postponed. And so it was, and only in February 2001 I managed to see the movie I was longing to see. What to say? It was magic, I never seen a movie with such an ability to pass its good-humored face to its viewers. I loved it: the movie is light (only a hour and a half, which makes us actually want to see more), fast-paced, simple but effective. The chase scenes are out of this world, and beat the hell out of, for example, Gone in Sixty Seconds. This proves that the french can do it, and with much better results: although the plot is paper thin, you won't really care when you see it, since you'll marvel at everything: Daniel's engaging personality, Emilien's cool silliness, the titular Taxi, which will make your jaw drop with its passive / agressive beauty, and that amazing finale, which made me rewind and see it again. Taxi is a movie which needs no intrincate studies or analysis: just watch it and get drunk on the laughter and good-nature it inspires. I watched this with my friends two times in a day, and never has a movie done this. Let's now hope Taxi 2 comes out on video when I'm still alive, but I see I will have to travel to France first to buy the DVD...
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A technically perfect film
mr_impossible12 November 2000
I was not expecting a lot from this film to be honest. Luc Besson is not a name that inspires that much confidence given the terrible Leon, lacklustre Fifth Element and excreble Joan of Arc but this is an absolute humdinger of a movie for its genre. Clearly Besson is happier with just a pen than when in overall control because this film excels in every way. The script is great: both packed with one liners and tightly (and often hilariously) plotted. I confess could only keep up with the subtitles - the characters talk like machine guns if you're not used to colloquial French - but the dialogue really sparkled.

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.
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Catchy Fast Paced Comedy
marwane16 January 2000
Luc Besson has succeeded yet again to produce a hilarious comedy and an action filled sequence from a subject that is not quite new. The outrageous characters, witty dialogues, and the excellent production provide great entertainment. I went into the theater without any expectations since I heard nothing of this movie before I watched it, and left with a big smile stamped on my face... I highly recommend it to anyone, although I think that the younger generation and particularly males will have the most fun.
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a cool one, very funny...
katarn11 July 1999
Taxi is one of my favourites due to its "roadmovie-style". The camera work is very well done and it's great fun to look at this movie! I can recommend it for everyone. (I can recommend all films by Luc Besson -- Subway, Nikita, Léon, Fifth Element) all good stuff.
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