Taxi 3 review by The Grim Ringler
If we were all very lucky then wed get the chance to see all three of the French Taxi films in the comfort of our own homes and not have to settle for a silly American re-make starring a hip-hop queen. Alas, that is not to be though, so we have to settle for tracking these wonderful action-comedies down on Ebay and at comic conventions and dream of a day we might get to watch it here. A dream that is probably not to come. But, I assure you friends these are movies you WILL want to track down as these are the movies the Fast and Furious movies SHOULDA been.
Taxi 3 is the, duh, third film in this wonderful action-comedy series and features the entire cast that has been in the first two. Hooray! This entry finds our favorite cab driver (still driving his souped up Peugeot, which now has the ability to drive on snow when he flips a switch and has snow treads descend) Daniel and his lovable cohort Emilien the hapless policeman as expectant fathers, both of their girlfriends in the family way, and both men far from ready for that. So, when Daniel is given an ultimatum from his girlfriend to get his act together or to lose her forever, he turns to Emilien for advice, though what he gets is much more than he had bargained for. Emilien and the French police have been plagued by a series of robberies in the city pulled off by a group of Santa Claus impersonators and they have yet to be captured. So it is that while talking about how the two of them have to act more maturely now that they have kids on the way, Emilien spots on of the Santas and he and Daniel pursue this Santa to his lair and eventually to Emiliens capture by the gang. And Daniel can do nothing while his friend is brutally tortured (by the oddly captivating Bai Ling who performs oral sex on Emilien to torture him. Poor guy). After his torture though Emilien is left to die by being crushed by a giant wrecking ball set to a timer but its only Daniels quick car and thinking that save him from this awful fate. Daniel and Emilien track these counterfeit Clauss to the mountains on the border of France and Sweden in the hopes that they can stop them before they escape with their pilfered loot.
The beautiful thing about the three Taxi films is that the characters in them are all so lovably flawed but have good hearts and want to do right. Daniel is a wonderful protagonist because he tries so hard to be macho but always ends up showing how fallible and romantic he is. No matter how cool he tries to be, his girlfriend always has his number. And while the stunts with the cars (and in this film with a spectacular stunt showcase in the beginning featuring a motorcycle, bikes, rollerbladers, and Daniels car) are amazing, never do they become bigger than the film or the characters. The action sequences serve their purpose, and keep things very exciting, but unlike their American brethren they are never used to prop up a weak plot. The opening is a sight to behold. Imagine rollerbladers pursuing a man on a bicycle through the streets of Paris, through traffic, down stairs, over cars, its amazing, and the choreography that it took gives me headaches. And its a total kick to see the silly and oft-times bizarre gadgets Daniel slaps onto his car, such as a way to fly in the second film, and in this one snow treads that slide into place so he can drive on the snow. God knows why he needs to, but thats beside the point.
Its true, the story is a bit silly, and the background characters can tend to become caricatures, but dammit, these films are so much fun you dont really care. I mean, heck, these are meant to be silly, fun movies, and they are. All three are caper movies in which Daniel and Emilien have to save the day, and they always do, but all of that is secondary to the interaction of some wonderful characters. Characters that care for one another, love one another, and actually grow and change through all three films. If you want mindless, wonderfully silly action, my friend, you have found your movies. And man alive, the DTS on this baby is tremendous. I know they are re-making Taxi for the states, and I am sure it will have some whip-crack action, but what is sure to be lost is the heart, the characters, and the love the people that made the films had in making these movies. And thats a shame. Do yourself a favor and check Ebay and track these things down.
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