By Mark Ramsey | 2004/10/10

Queen Latifah is a bike messenger.

I said Queen Latifah is a bike messenger.

That’s right, plausibility has been stabbed in the heart and incinerated into ashes and the movie has only just begun. With her fancy French manicure, I suspect Latifah’s most recent bike featured three wheels and a horn.

It’s Taxi, the buddy comedy you’ve all been asking for!

Okay, nobody’s been asking for this, but here it is anyway: The vastly over-rated Queen Latifah and the hugely over-hyped Jimmy Fallon.

taxi_stopinthename.jpgWhere are the supporting roles for Tor Johnson and Bela Lugosi?

Today is a happy day because Latifah has achieved her life-long dream: Driving a taxi. Way to aim high, girl! She climbs into her new tricked-out ride with a stashed panel full of switches for everything but “self-destruct,” which this movie wastes little time in doing anyway.

Never trust a perp in a belly-tee, I always say. Witness, if you dare, the acting debut of Victoria’s Secret fixture Gisele Bundchen, here separated from her angel’s wings and any divine guidance that might have accompanied them.

Extracting dialogue from Gisele is like pulling very pretty teeth:

“Lez make sure you no wearing a wire,” says Gisele.

If a catwalk were the English language, Gisele would be William F. Buckley Jr. Unfortunately, her command of English is more like a benign neglect for English.

“Any coops follow me, she dies,” warns Gisele, whose threats are taken as seriously as an untimely blemish, “or worse, I dress you in couture dat clash wid your coloring!”

Gisele and her Cover Girls in Crime stage a series of bold daylight bank robberies in midtown Manhattan. Robbing banks? Do people still do this? What is this, the 1930′s? Which members of Gisele’s gang are named Floyd or Clyde?

“Geeve me da cash now or I shoot da gurl – just as Scavullo so often shoot me – but widout all da compliments,” Gisele exclaims.

And doesn’t a bank heist require lots of planning? After all, models are not generally known for their ability to plot logistics or to change anything more complicated than their minds, and I use the terms “complicated” and “minds” loosely.

taxi_whichone.jpgWith their ill-gotten gains in hand, our supermodel villains are on the run in a high-speed chase through the streets of Manhattan.

High speed? Through Manhattan?

Is this the Manhattan I know or some other kind where three little pigs live next door to some old woman in a shoe?

As Fallon’s drunken mom, Ann-Margret emerges from mothballs to show she’s had enough work done to busy a highway crew for a year. If that face were stretched any tighter her head could win the America’s Cup.

Ultimately, Queen Latifah takes a bullet – and not a moment too soon.

As for Jimmy Fallon: In the annals of movies featuring SNL alum, Taxi makes One Night at the Roxbury look like Casablanca.

Keep it up, Jimmy, and you’ll be hosting Court TV promos and cutting the ribbon at the new Wal-Mart.

Photos Copyright ©2004 20th Century Fox


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