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TAXI

Tim Story, the director of Barbershop, and Luc Besson, the would-be French auteur behind La femme Nikita and The Fifth Element, combine with SNLís Jimmy Fallon in this loose remix of the 1998 Gérard Pirès oddity for which Besson wrote the script. Here Bessonís affection for cabbies (remember Bruce Willisís intrepid hack in Element?) gets a gender change as Queen Latifah plays Belle Williams, a driver with NASCAR aspirations. She gets tangled up with Andy, a screw-up of a cop whoís lost his driverís license and has to take a cab to crime scenes. Andyís investigating a string of bank robberies perpetrated by four pouty Brazilian babes (led by supermodel Gisele Bündchen), and if he doesn't bring them to justice, his career is toast. Latifah, who adds cream to everything sheís dumped in, carries the film, and Ann-Margret is uproarious as Andyís margarita-swilling mom, but Fallon never finds his stride. Taxi is an uneven buddy romp thatís as unreliable and jerky as a ride in Belleís trumped-out Crown Vic. At the Apple Valley, Entertainment, Flagship, Holiday, Providence Place 16, and Showcase cinemas. (97 minutes)

BY TOM MEEK

Issue Date: October 8 - 14, 2004
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