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Film / Taxi (2004)

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Taxi note  is a 2004 American action-comedy directed by Tim Story. It is a Foreign Remake of the 1998 French film Taxi, starring Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen. Luc Besson (writer and producer of the French film) is still credited as a co-writer, but he's actually also co-producer here.

Belle Williams (Latifah) is a bicycle courier-turned-taxi driver. Her souped-up Ford Crown Victoria is confiscated after she ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, namely near a bank robbery. Andy Washburn (Fallon) is a Clueless Detective who doesn't know anything about cars and loses his driver's license early in the movie. The two of them team up to stop the gang behind the bank robbery.

Taxi provides examples of:

  • The Alleged Car: Mrs. Washburn's Daewoo Lanos.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The ending chase culminates in a trick being pulled on the bank robber girls, which ends up with them being stuck on a section of highway that is incomplete (and about 60-70 feet in the air). While this was a cool looking stunt, it has zero grounding in reality. The BM Ws that end up on the section of highway are not going nearly fast enough to account for the 50-60 foot gap they clear, nor are there even any ramps present. Even if they had been going fast enough, the section of highway wouldn't have given enough time to stop their momentum. Realistically, the girls in the cars would have ended up hood-first in a pile of wrecked metal below the highway, quite dead or heavily injured.
  • Automobile Opening: The film opens with Belle speeding through crowded Manhattan on a bicycle.
  • Badass Driver: Belle all the way.
  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: The NYPD is portrayed mostly as competent, except Detective Washburn. Not only is the guy incompetent (the first time we see him he ruins a drug bust and gets his partner shot) he's also a terrible driver, and bumbles along from one mistake to the other until the end, where he assumes the Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass position.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Belle has to confront enemy badass drivers.
  • Butt-Monkey: Washburn.
  • The Cameo: Jeff Gordon appears As Himself.
  • Cultural Translation: The original film is set in the French city of Marseille, with its own specific street subculture and accents, local police and French cars. That film remakes it all with Big Applesauce, NYPD and American cars. The car chases are a lot more Hollywood-like because even a "tuned" Crown Vic can't be driven like a rally car.
  • Dark Action Girl: Vanessa and her team of robbers.
  • Destroy the Security Camera: One scene shows the team of female robbers doing this to a security camera when they attack and rob a bank.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Belle, even when she's a bicycle courier.
  • Gender Flip: Queen Latifah's character is male in the original French film.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Vanessa pats down Lt. Robbins for weapons in a suggestive way, much to the pleasure of all the guys present.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: All scenes with Vanessa and her gang have them speaking Portuguese. Washburn is at first confused when he hears them speaking, mistaking their tongue for Italian or Spanish until Belle corrects him.
  • Laughing Gas: Belle and Washburn escape into another room to hide from the villains. Washburn accidentally opens a canister of nitrous oxide gas causing the two to start laughing.
  • Pervy Patdown: Lt. Marta Robbins gets one prior to being taken hostage by the Brazilian thieves, their excuse being she might have a wire.
  • Pistol-Whipping: One of the robbers knocks Washburn out with the butt of her Colt Model 725 Carbine.
  • Race Lift: The main protagonist of the French film is played by an actor of French and Algerian descent. Queen Latifah is African-American.
  • Removable Steering Wheel: Done on purpose. Belle can exchange the stock steering wheels of her car with a professional racing wheel when going Super Mode.
  • Standard Snippet: "Pick Up The Pieces".
  • Stripperiffic: The villainesses' outfits when not disguised.
  • Talk to the Fist: One of the robbers punches Belle in face, when Belle tries to explain why she's at the garage.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After realizing she's been outsmarted and trapped, Vanessa screams in fury and shoots at the main characters. One of the bullets hits Belle.
  • Wrench Wench:
    • Belle souped up her taxi herself.
    • The bank robbers fix up their getaway car (a BMW) in order to avoid detection.