Taxi

Crimes

  • Resurrecting the little-missed wacky mismatched-cop buddy movie
  • Redundantly adapting Luc Besson-produced Hollywood-style Euro-schlock into genuine Hollywood schlock
  • Creating a plot so far-fetched that its supermodel bank-robber villains qualify as its most plausible aspect

Defender
Director Tim Story

Tone Of Commentary
Shameless, friendly, and devoid of tortured introspection. Story doesn't comment or analyze the film so much as he cheerleads through it, gushing dizzily about his cast, Jimmy Fallon's manic mugging, and his stars' chemistry.

What Went Wrong
Gisele "a pleasure to work with" Bundchen wanted to perform her own stunts, but was deemed far too sexy to bother with such gruntwork. Maddeningly, though unsurprisingly, Story nitpicks over tiny continuity errors while completely ignoring the film's massive flaws. To Story's credit, he acknowledges that the film goes on too long, but he adds that pretty much all modern movies wear out their welcome around 15 minutes in.

Comments On The Cast
Fallon is hailed as a humanitarian, a brilliant thespian, and an improvisational comic genius. Fallon's shenanigans apparently had the crew, director, and cast in stitches, causing them to blow many takes. For one scene, Fallon asked Story if he should do a normal Cuban accent, or imitate Al Pacino's famously over-the-top burlesque Scarface routine, prompting Story to admit that he wouldn't know the difference. (He'd probably be a poor choice to direct The Life And Times Of Fidel Castro.) Story later pays supporting player Ann-Margret the ultimate backhanded compliment when he boasts about her being "so appreciative to be working."

Inevitable Dash Of Pretension
Story talks throughout about how the key to Taxi's comedy was its grounding in reality, a somewhat disingenuous claim for someone discussing a car-chase-fueled buddy action-comedy about a goofball cop who can't drive, a sassy taxi driver with a crazy super-car, and a ring of bank robbers played by models.

Commentary In A Nutshell
Upon seeing the name "Anthony Scalia" on a computer screen, Story admits, "Anthony Scalia, I didn't find out until later on, and I don't remember now, I think he was a judge or something. Once again, it's those intelligent writers. You can't keep up with them. They can add little political jokes you don't know about until someone tells you."

Filed Under: DVD

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