One sick ride
For some people, misery is a massive stomach flu that reminds them of their status as a mere mortal. You know, one of those butt-kicking illnesses that makes you forget what it feels like to be well and causes you to take up temporary residence on the bathroom floor.
For me, complete and utter misery is getting halfway through a wretchedly bad film like Taxi, then seeing the damned movie melt onscreen, and hearing the inevitable whine of the theater manager, explaining that there’s a “maintenance problem,” and we will all have to come back some other time to watch the movie.
That’s right folks, I had to watch Taxi twice (well, one and a half times) because someone didn’t know how to fix a broken film or properly maintain a projector, thus ruining my weekend. I had to endure Jimmy Fallon’s ass pushing into Queen Latifah’s face two times (not counting the hundred or so times I saw it in the previews). I would’ve been preferred a massive, “I know I’m gonna die someday, Lord!” bout with stomach flu.
Fallon plays Dumb Cop, a guy who can’t drive, lives next door to his mom (a drunken Ann-Margret), and generally acts real dumb. Latifah plays Smart-Mouthed Sidekick Person, a former lightning-fast bike messenger (yeah, right) who aspires to be a NASCAR driver but will settle for driving an illegally hopped-up taxicab. Dumb Cop and Smart-Mouthed Sidekick Person cross paths when Dumb Cop needs to commandeer her vehicle to pursue bank robbers (his license was revoked after crashing a car through a store, killing a parrot).
Dumb and Smart join forces to race around town, breaking the law and endangering innocent civilians, always evading capture by that legion of movie law-enforcement heroes, Even Dumber Cops. The pursued villains, Implausibly Beautiful and Impossibly Capable Bank Robbers, are supermodel baddies who are sure to inspire legions of up-and-coming mega-beauties to eschew big-money modeling contracts for the much safer vocation of armed robbery.
Taxi is one of those films where you are sure to see passengers, looking all scared and confused, bouncing around in the backseat as they’re tossed about by a wild and wacky driver. At some point in cinematic history, somebody thought this joke was funny. And since it’s a taxi movie, we can be assured that more than one of the taxi’s passengers, as a result of the obligatory abrupt stop, will end up with their face mushed on that window that separates the front seat from the back.
Fallon gave up his spot on Saturday Night Live for this cinematic armpit. The only good that comes out of this is that Fallon won’t be cracking up Horatio Sanz on a weekly basis anymore, something he did in just about every SNL sketch he participated in. His next role is in a Farrelly brothers movie, and those guys have forgotten how to be funny, so the future looks bleak. As for Latifah, I still haven’t forgiven her for Bringin’ Down the House.
Here’s a suggestion: Sneak a few flasks into the theater, and take a slug every time Fallon looks or acts like an unbearable asshole or Latifah makes you want to shoot yourself in the head. You’ll be good and drunk about a half hour into the picture. The malaise you’ll feel the day after a night of hard liquor consumption may have symptoms not unlike stomach flu. Jimmy Fallon will forever be associated with that horrible feeling, thus causing Fallon film-avoidance and making your life just a little bit safer. (CPL, CR, CS, NM)