Saturday, July 24, 2004

Franco-American

The trailer for the American remake of Taxi is here!

Any who doubt Hollywood's cinematic supremacy over Europe need only glance at this trailer, which takes France's most successful brainless action car-chase franchise, sees it and raises it one second-tier SNL star, one sassy black woman, and one team of bank-robbing supermodels.

The French version's taxi driver, rather than being Queen Latifah, was a white male character. He had a surprising charm despite looking like an uglier, Frencher Adam Sandler. Foolishly, the French version also had boring German men as the team of bank robbers, instead of beautiful women who could easily be making a fortune getting paid to be beautiful.

But far be it from me to criticize a movie that goes out of its way to offer hard-driving, gun-wielding tough chicks who strip down to their underwear when it's time to change disguises. Entertainment Weekly, along with plenty of people online, has already pointed out how colossally stupid this movie looks. I actually think the gag in the trailer where Jimmy Fallon tries to commandeer a vehicle is pretty funny, but never mind. This movie will live or die on the quality of its car chases, and based on the trailer, they look to be well-shot. If the chases are crap, this movie will have zero redeeming value. If they are cool, the rest of the scenes will do well enough to avoid being painful.

Unfortunately, for all its changes, the American version appears to have ported over the dumbest moment of the original, in which cars leap between sections of an elevated highway still under construction. This stunt strained credibility when we saw it the first time, way back in Speed, and for all the other purposely goofy implausibilities here (and in the original), the cartoonish physics here demand an "Oh, come on!" from any viewer. I can only hope the American version does not use this dopey stunt in a crucial plot point as its predecessor does.

1 comment:

matt said...

but who's playing jim ignatowsky? and what about latka?