Taxi (2004 film)

Infobox_Film
name = Taxi


|"Taxi" film poster
director = Tim Story
writer = Luc Besson,
Thomas Lennon,
Ben Garant
starring = Queen Latifah,
Jimmy Fallon,
Gisele Bündchen,
Jennifer Esposito
producer = Luc Besson
Robert Simonds
distributor= 20th Century Fox
budget =
released= 6 October 2004
runtime = 97 min.
language = English
imdb_id = 0316732|

"Taxi" is a 2004 American remake of the 1998 Luc Besson-penned, Gérard Pirès directed French film of the same name, starring Queen Latifah, Jimmy Fallon and Gisele Bündchen, and directed by Tim Story.

Plot Synopsis

Belle Williams (Queen Latifah) is a talented driver and auto mechanic who dreams of driving in NASCAR. As the film opens she celebrates her last shift as a bicycle courier by performing a crowd-pleasing sequence of bicycle stunts as she passes through New York City, breaking a speed record in the process. She has won her taxi license. Belle neglects her boyfriend Jesse (Henry Simmons) and has bestowed much love on her custom-built cab over the past five years. This evening, having skipped her dinner date, she installs a supercharger into the cab.

The next day, her first customer offers her a $100 tip if she can make it to JFK in fifteen minutes. She makes it in nine, making the passenger sick in the process. Meanwhile, a group of fashion models exit the airport.

The action cuts back to New York City where undercover detective Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon) is about to bust a phone card ring from Cuba. He makes up a street name in Havana, which blows his cover, and a gunfight develops. Washburn's partner is wounded in the arm and the Cubans escape. Trying to follow them in his partner's car, Washburn starts it in reverse and crashes it. Back at the precinct station, Lt. Marta Robbins, (Jennifer Esposito) confiscates his driver's license and demotes him to Foot Patrol duty.

Later, hearing of a bank robbery, Washburn in plainclothes encounters trouble flagging down a car to take him to the scene, so he flags down a taxi cab, which turns out to be Belle's. They arrive at the bank just as the four robbers depart in a BMW. Washburn accidentally shoots out one of Belle's windows and they end up cornering the BMW in an alley. The BMW driver cleverly gives Belle the slip, but as the car passes she recognises the occupants as the same models from the airport. Their leader is Vanessa (Gisele Bündchen). In a misunderstanding, police arrive and hold up Belle and Washburn.

Belle's cab is impounded as evidence and she is taken in for questioning as a witness to the robbery; she is upset as it means the loss of two weeks' earnings. Washburn promises to get her cab back if she will join him on his beat--thus solving the problem of his confiscated license.

Belle and Washburn pursue the robbers, getting close once or twice. Washburn takes Belle home. His mother (Ann Margret) is constantly drunk and always has a margarita going in the blender. She brings up embarrassing moments of Washburn's past and why he's such a bad driver.

Later, Washburn talks to the impound cop (Patton Oswalt) and eventually convinces him to give him and Belle the cab back. They realize that the gang always robs banks just before the garbage collection is due. The robbers take the money, put it in the trash and the garbage man collects it. However, things haven't gone well, and Washburn is fired from his job. Later that night, Belle teaches him to drive. They discover that the garbage collector on the bank round has been performing collections for the gang because they have kidnapped his wife. They trace the kidnapper and recover the garbage collector's wife and all the loot.

The police learn which bank is next to be hit, and they lie in wait for the robbers, who take a hostage. After a hostage swap, the gang escape with Lt. Robbins as hostage, followed by Washburn and Belle in her cab. Belle calls on the help of her former bike messengers to pinpoint the location of the car. During the ensuing chase they continually try to swap the hostage for the money while driving down the road. Washburn forces the robbers down a long bridge he knows is under construction. Belle is wounded by Vanessa, and Washburn drives Belle to the hospital.

In the final scene, Belle is behind the wheel of her new car in a NASCAR stadium, sponsored by New York banks. Washburn (recently reinstated back into the NYPD), Robbins, and Washburn's mother cheer her on. Jeff Gordon, driver of the 24 car in NASCAR's top series, makes an appearance.

Cast

*Queen Latifah as "Isabelle 'Belle' Williams"
*Jimmy Fallon as "Det. Andrew 'Andy' Washburn"
*Gisele Bündchen as "Vanessa"
*Henry Simmons as "Jesse"
*Jennifer Esposito as "Lt. Marta Robbins"
*Ana Cristina de Oliveira as "Redhead (Second Robber)"
*Ingrid Vandebosch as "Third Robber"
*Magali Amadei as "Fourth Robber"
*Ann-Margret as "Washburn's Mom"
*Christian Kane as "Agent Mullins"
*Boris McGiver as "Franklin"
*Adrian Martinez as "Brasilian Man"
*Joe Lisi as "Mr. Anthony Scalia"
*Bryna Weiss as "Mrs. Scalia"
*Jeff Gordon as himself (cameo appearance)

Trivia

*The racetrack that Belle does her practice run on is Phoenix International Raceway.
*The unfinished highway seen at the end is set to be in New Jersey near Fair Lawn, and looks to be connected to the Garden State Parkway, as seen on the map that Detective Washbourne is reading. No such highway exists in New Jersey, and the approximate location of the unfinished highway is really the Bergen Medical Center in Oradell.
* An uncredited role by Jeff Gordon, invited by girlfriend (and later wife) Ingrid Vandebosch, who plays a bank robber was involved.
* Washburn carries three guns: a Glock 19 9mm, a .38 special snub nose revolver, and a Beretta 84 Cheetah. He also uses a Smith & Wesson in the garage.
*The side scoops on Belle's car are actually part of the bodykit for the 2004 Ford Mustang manufactured by Saleen.
*Washburn's disguise during the Cuban credit-card scam scene is a mixture of Johnny Depp's first undercover scene in "Donnie Brasco" and Al Pacino's Tony Montana accent from "Scarface".
*Most of the chase scenes were shot in Los Angeles, California.

External links

* [http://www.foxhome.com/taxi/ Official site]
*imdb title|id=0316732|title=Taxi


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