When I first heard Taxi by Gérard Pirès was getting a US version I was disguested, I felt that the Americans had gone too far by wanting to rip the French version apart, with a very poor review on many websites and magazines, I felt it was best to not see it at the cinema. Well more fool me!
Taxi is as vibrant as the original, and in some ways better, Daniel replaced with Belle, Emilien - a geeky cop replaced with a dangerous driver cop - and the story less focused on politics against the police, but more of a comical view to policing, and that Taxi's still the lead role!
I felt that Belle was a great character - not stressed like a lot of cabbies can be - but laid back, funny and cool at the same time - and Queen Latifah did a great job! Washburn was as funny as Emilien, but I felt Maria was not as sassy as Petra in the original.
The humor was just as good as the French counterpart, just it was different, see what we find funny in France doesn't always work in the US, but to me Luc Besson did a great job with getting the main funny things about Taxi FR into the US edition.
The stunts were not as good in Taxi US. Yes, they were good, but Taxi FR's were better, there was a lot more action than Taxi US, and the music that went alongside made the speed scenes more exciting (shame they didn't get IAM to do the soundtrack for Taxi NYC).
On the subject of soundtrack, it was good, but could have been better, Taxi was always known in France for bringing some of the best of France's hip hop artists to the forefront, but it looks like this wasn't the case. Not that it's a bad move, I am really pleased to see a director not go with hip hop for his OST, makes a refreshing change.
The villians were very nice - cool to see that supermodels are just as capable to rob a bank as a bunch of German robbers like in the original. It was nice to see that the big roles went to women, nice to see them have powerful roles.
Altogether this is a fine movie, funny, good stunts, enjoyable. I know I have been comparing it with the French version, but it's quite a bit different. The only reason why it didn't get the full five for me is because the copying of some of the French scenes just seems so unimaginative really, specially the jump where the girls get stuck on the bridge. I did however, like the twist, clever writing from Mr Besson! This is definately a good film for the family, there's little drug references, the violence is not overkill and there's not a lot of swearing compared to some of the films I have seen lately. It's very refreshing to see this.
The DVD boasts some cool extras, like the 10mins extra on the extended edition, the CGI featurete, the Comedy Central look at Taxi, the making of, Jimmy's guided tour and the 4 deleted scenes are a welcomed addition.
A must buy.