Executive-produced by Luc Besson (The Big Blue
) but directed by the far more obscure Gérard Pirès, this anodyne but perfectly amiable buddy movie-cum-policier
sets up sexily scar-faced Samy Narceri as a speed-obsessed Marseilles taxi driver who's cajoled into helping clumsy cop Frédéric Diefenthal catch a gang of German bank robbers. The dialogue, characterisation and plotting are as flimsy as a rusty Lada, but they're only padding anyway between the slices of car-chase and motorway action that form the steely infrastructure of the film. These, indeed, are pretty spectacular: impressively fast, they're filmed by either low-slung bumper-mounted cameras to make the road seem perilously close or from helicopters to show just how unfaked the action is, while the generally excellent soundtrack
pumps relentlessly on. The final stunt, involving an unfinished motorway overpass, is a real beauty in particular.
When not zooming round corners and round asphalt, the characters puzzle dimly over the blindingly obvious ruses of the baddies and make continually frustrated attempts to sleep with their unfeasibly pneumatic love interests. If a French lad's magazine could talk, it would look something like Taxi, which of course will be no bad thing for many a viewer. --Leslie Felperin
DVD Prism, 5014293131254, 1998 Region 2 PAL