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TAXI

movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)

The movie begins as we see a bicycle messenger racing through the downtown streets of New York City. Not just racing through, but doing remarkable stunts, jumping off overpasses, going up and down subway steps etc. Finally the messenger arrives at it's headquarters as everyone cheers. Off comes the helmet and we meet Belle, (Queen Latifah). She just broke a speed record and we then learn it's her last day. She just qualified for her taxi license. As a going away present the gang give her a titanium supercharger for the cab she's been working on.

Belle's boyfriend is Jesse, (Henry Simmons). He's upset with her because she missed their dinner date. Belle finally arrives home and he has fallen asleep waiting for her with a note saying "What happened?".

Belle goes downstairs to her garage and installs the supercharger into her custom built cab. She has been working on this cab for 5 years and it has more gadgets then a James Bond car. She dreams of someday driving for Nascar and her work on this cab proves that she knows how to work on engines.

The next day she has her first customer. $100 tip if she can make it to JFK in 15 minutes. No problem. She races through the streets as if she's still on her messenger bike and arrives in 9 minutes, making the passenger sick in the process.

Next we meet Detective Washburn, (Jimmy Fallon). He is the most incompetent undercover detective ever. On this current case he is about to bust a phone card ring from Cuba. He is posing as a Cuban trying to buy the cards, using his best Tony Montana (Scarface) impression. His partner is thinking, not again, as Washburn screws up the buy. A gunfight breaks out and his partner is wounded and the Cubans escape. Washburn and his partner run to the partner's car but since he is shot in the arm, Washburn will drive. The running gag throughout the entire movie is that Washburn is the worst driver in the world. Washburn takes off but the car is in reverse and he crashes it.

Back at the station he is given a present. A "DRIVING FOR DUMMIES" handbook. His boss, Lt. Robins, (Jennifer Esposito) is furious with him and takes away his drivers license. He is now back on the streets, walking his beat.

Out on the street he hears on his radio that a bank is being robbed, nearby where he is. He jumps into the middle of the street, flashes his badge to stop the first car he sees to use it to get to the bank. The driver of the car sees Washburn, plain clothed, in the street and loses control crashing his car and causing a giant pileup behind him. Washburn sneaks away. He then jumps into the first cab he sees which turns out to be - Belle's.

She takes him to the bank just as the 4 robbers jump into a BMW and take off. Washburn and Belle chase after it. Washburn accidently shoots out one of Belle's windows and they end up cornering the BMW in an alley. The BMW driver is actually an even better driver then Belle and does some quick moves and ends up driving right past her. Belle gets a good look at the robbers. They are all female and could be super models. In fact the head robber, Vanessa, is played by super model Giselle.

Belle is brought in for questioning as she is the only one that can ID the suspects. Her cab is kept for evidence, probably for a couple weeks they tell her. Belle is pissed as this is her only income but Washburn decides that if he can crack the case then Belle can get her cab back.

For the next 45 minutes or so, Belle and Washburn get close a couple of times, every time ending in a car chase. We also meet Washburn's mother played by Ann Margret who is constantly drunk and always has a margarita going in the blender.

Washburn talks to the impund cop and eventually convinces him to give he and Belle the cab back.

Finally, they realize that every robbery takes place just as the bank is about to have it's garbage collection in front of the building. The robbers take the money, put it in the trash and the garbage man collects it

They track down the garbage driver only to discover that his wife has been kidnapped and he is being forced to collect the money or his wife will be killed. They nap the kidnapper, free the wife and collect all the money that has been stolen so far.

They figure out the next bank to be hit and Washburn calls Lt Robins to get backup. The Robbery goes as planned but they are met by dozens of cops. They quickly take a hostage and demand to be allowed to leave. Lt Robins asks them to take her instead of the hostage. They agree but first Giselle does a long and erotic frisk of Robins, much to the delight of her fellow officers and Washburn. The robbers get away with Robins as hostage but are now being chased once again by Washburn and Belle in her cab. All the other squad cars lose them but Belle utilizes the help of her former bike messengers to pinpoint the location of the car. It's now just Belle, Washburn and the robbers flying down the streets of NY. During this chase they continually try to swap the hostage for the money while driving down the road 100mph.

The chase concludes with Washburn forcing the robbers down a long bridge that he knows is under construction. Just as they get to a break in the bridge, Belle slams on the brakes stopping just at the end of that section of the bridge. The Robbers end up flying by them jumping to the next section of the bridge but the section after that is missing too so they are now trapped on the middle section with no way out. A frustrated Giselle screams and shoots Belle, wounding her. Washburn saves her by finally driving real well to the hospital.

Cut to "Sometime later".

It's Nascar Sunday and Belle is behind the wheel of her new car, sponsored by the Banks of NY. On the Scoreboard there is a message from her boyfriend asking her to marry him. Washburn and Lt. Robins show up in their very bad Russian mafia undercover costumes along with a drunk Ann Margret to cheer her on.

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