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If given a choice between the stomach flu and a 'Taxi' viewing, take the influenza

For some people, misery is a massive stomach flu that reminds one 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 miserably bad film like Taxi, seeing the damn movie melt on screen as the film breaks, 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, 1 1/2 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 100 or so times I saw it in the previews).

A massive, "I know I'm gonna die someday, Lord!" bout with stomach flu would've been preferred.

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 (His license was revoked after he crashed a car through a store, killing a parrot.)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 in which you are sure to see passengers, looking all scared and confused, bouncing around in the backseat like they're being 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 (as well as a designated driver), 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 have a good drunk on about a half-hour into the picture. The malaise you will feel after a night of hard-liquor consumption might 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.

Taxi
Rated NR

More by Bob Grimm

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What others are saying (2)

Chicago Reader Banned from filmmaking, Jafar Panahi makes a secret drama The Iranian renegade is back in the driver's seat for Taxi by Ben Sachs 10/29/2015
Boise Weekly Hail this Taxi Jafar Panahi could not attend the premiere of his film Taxi at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. He can't attend much of anything outside of his home. by George Prentice 10/21/2015

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