Dir; Tim Story, Cert; tba
as having achieved the impossible, being even more unlikely than the film
on which it has been based, that of Luc Beeson's original screenplay and
1998's film by the same name. Alright I'll come clean from the off and
admit that although familiar in passing, I have never seen this earlier
production so cannot make any comparisons, but in brief, having sat through
97 minutes of this film my judgement would be and stands that of blaxplotation
meets Police Academy.
An unlikely Cop (played by Jimmy Fallon) through a comedy of errors pairs
up with a New York cabbie 'Belle' (Queen Latifah) and find themselves
on a mission to foil the plans of a group of 'models' committing
grand larceny at large well to do banks throughout the city of New York.
Unlikely, well you could say that, but so was 'Police Academy' and if
I remember correctly that too had a shy proportion of 'eye candy' with
which to distract an audience, well this has bucket loads. It's not necessarily
that it needs it, as what with fast cars, chases and a modified 'yellow
cab', this film does have a content that might keep an audience nailed
to their couch for 10 of those minutes, before the fridge beckons, but
in all honesty with those lost minutes taken into account an audience
is not going to miss much (of the plot or otherwise).
Apart from Queen Latifah's over blown contribution to the film, with her
larger than life portrayal of the taxi driver with attitude and Jimmy
Fallon's role as the inept, but loveable goof-ball, the best I could say
of the rest might be "...don't bother coming back tomorrow".
Jennifer Esposito played the role of Lt. Marta Robbins with as much conviction
as a cardboard tray holding wet food and with her apparent experience
in TV all I can assume is that she's not quite ready for starring in a
movie, even of this nature. Another 'face' I was familiar with was that
of Henry Simmons (he of late-series NYPD Blue fame), the on-screen boyfriend
of 'Belle' and although familiar in attitude to his NYPD Blue casting,
was a little stiff.
In essence this film was either a parody of genre's that weren't really
that good to start with, or just a dreadful mash of cops, cars and girls.
Entertaining, but I'd not hurry back and perhaps a late night TV slot
might be a more comfortable positioning. 6/10