Taxi, originally released in France in 1998, is directed by Gérard Pirès, with Luc Besson producing and writing. The film stars: Samy Naceri (Daniel), Frédéric Diefenthal (Emilien), and Marion Cotillard (Lilly). Taxi has already spawned one sequel, with another in the works tentatively scheduled for next year. The DVD being reviewed is the Region 0 disc from Forel; there is also a Region 3 disc.
Daniel is an aging pizza boy with only one thing on his mind – speed. For the past six years, he's waited for one day, and its finally here…the day he gets his taxi license. With his ride already souped up, Daniel is out on the streets in no time breaking speed limits. One passenger turns out to be Emilien, a bumbling police inspector who busts him. However, instead of sending him to jail, he makes a deal with Daniel – if Daniel helps him catch a gang of bank robbers, then Daniel's record will be wiped clean. Now the two must team up to stop the Mercedes Gang before they get away...again.
Taxi is one part racing, one part buddy cop flick. The formula works well here, though there's less racing than I would have liked. The movie is entertaining throughout, though the storyline remains a bit on the thin side.
Taxi is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The main fault with the transfer is an abundance of edge enhancement. There is also some occasional shimmer. Print defects are somewhat uncommon, most notably showing up in the form of specks.
Taxi is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 in French and Mandarin; the case lists an English 5.1 track, but it is not included. The 5.1 track is mostly based in the front soundstage, though both the front and rear surrounds are usually employed to provide ambient noise and the film's music. The English subtitles have quite a few misspellings, but are generally understandable. Optional subtitles are available in English and Simplified & Traditional Chinese.
Extras include the story synopsis from the case, as well as pictures of the three main stars and their names.
Had the presentation been better, the disc would have been easy to recommend as a purchase for fans of action-racing movies, like Driven or Gone in 60 Seconds, or even buddy cop movies. However, the film still makes a great rental. Rent it.