France / French
In Marseilles (France), Daniel, an ancient pizza delivery boy, changes job to become a taxi driver, but his dream is to become an F1 pilot...
A breath of fresh air
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.
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