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In my opinion this is the one of the best mainstream French movies in a
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
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.
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.
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!
A light film - the comedy is refreshingly simple and not slapstick
Also the car chases are mostly pretty simple and not full of the excesses
Hollywood movies where everything MUST crash and everything MUST blow up in
It's got style and it's got speed.
What more do you want?
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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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