Friday, 13 April 2012

Taxi Sequels.

Taxi 2 (2000).

Taxi ride in Paris!
This sequel to Taxi (1998) is again written and produced by Luc Besson but this time directed by Gerard Krawczyk. Taxi 2 (2000) follows the same formula as the first film, fantastic choreographed car chases, pile-ups and gun battles and uses the same main cast as before with Sami Naceri playing the Taxi driving speed freak Daniel, Marion Cotillard as his girl friend Lilly, Frederic Diefenthall as the police inspector Emilien, who has know passed his driving test on the 27th attempt and of course we must not forget the lovely Petra played by Swedish model and actress Emma Wiklund. My favourite character is Commissaire Gilbert portrayed by Bernard Farcy

If anything this is even more fast and furious than the first movie and the opening scenes where Daniel is attempting to get a pregnant lady to the hospital before she gives birth in the back of his cab is really very funny. The story this time is about the visit of the Japanese Secretary of State for Defence who is a guest of the Marseille police, he’s there to inspect the city’s anti gang tactics and hopefully sign a contract that’s worth a lot of money to the French government. But low and behold a powerful team of Yakusa kidnaps the minister and Petra, minus her undergarments. Daniel and Emilien again have to join forces to implement a daring rescue.  A great French comedy that really makes you laugh.

The lovely Petra.
The only down side to this project was that a cameraman was killed while filming a car chase scene while his assistant suffered two broken legs. Luc Besson was the subject of an official investigation but cleared of all charges of compromising safety in an effort to cut costs. Veteran stunt coordinator Remy Julienne was given an 18 month suspended jail sentence and fined 13000 euro’s. The prosecutor accused Julienne of not taking all the necessary measures for the security of the stunt in question and notably to have neglected the speed calculations of the car and the length of the jump.

Taxi 3 (2003).

Taxi ride in the Alps!
And now for the sequel to Taxi 2 (2000) imaginatively called Taxi 3 (2003) again written and produced by Luc Besson and directed by Gerard Krawczyk. Not quite as frantic as Taxi 2 (2000) but still great fun, this time involving not only Marseille but the snow and ice of Switzerland!!! We have all the same characters played by the same cast; disappointingly we don’t see quite as much of Petra who along with Lilly is pregnant.  Although Commissaire Gilbert is featured more often than before.

The villainess.
Commissaire Gilbert.

The plot, never really important in these films, involves the Santa Claus Gang a group of Asian thieves led by Chinese actress Bai Ling (Dumplings 2004, The Hustle 2008) who outwit the police at ever turn until our intrepid super taxi driver Daniel comes to the rescue.

We are treated to the Tarantino type sound track again, coupled with a great James Bond opening credit, revolving number plates and a ski chase. A French speaking Sylvester Stallone (no really his voice is dubbed) has a cameo at the beginning of the film. Not as funny as Taxi 2 but I’m told still better than any of the American remakes.

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