[Review] Taxi 5: Next time, we’ll take an Uber

Entertaiment

Twenty years after the opus directed by Gérard Pirès, Taxi 5 tries to breathe a breath of fresh air on the Marseille saga. But he has a hard time getting past the second.

Iconic comedy of the 2000s, Taxi allowed Luc Besson to give his vision of the French buddy movie. This uninhibited action film carried by the duo Naceri / Dienfenthal has also been worn to the cord, sclerosing the careers of the two actors in the process.

It took a dozen years for Europa Corps and TF1 to decide, playing on nostalgia, to reactivate the license. Aware of the changes made by French comedy all this time, the studios have chosen Franck Gastambide to direct and play the main role of this new opus.

A rather wise choice given the success of The Kairas and Pattaya , two particularly profitable films assuming their status as crude and inoffensive caricature. By choosing to wipe out past episodes, Gastambide approaches the DNA of the series with the same schoolboy humor as his old feature films.

Transferred to Marseille against his will, Sylvain Marot joined a municipal police team made up of broken arms. The ex-commissioner Gibert, who has since become mayor of the city (everything happens) entrusts him with the task of arresting a gang of Italians, who rob jewelry stores aboard Ferrari. To stop them, he will have to cooperate with a VTC driver who will lend him a well-known old white taxi.

A rather wise choice given the success of The Kairas and Pattaya , two particularly profitable films assuming their status as crude and inoffensive caricature. By choosing to wipe out past episodes, Gastambide approaches the DNA of the series with the same schoolboy humor as his old feature films.

Transferred to Marseille against his will, Sylvain Marot joined a municipal police team made up of broken arms. The ex-commissioner Gibert, who has since become mayor of the city (everything happens) entrusts him with the task of arresting a gang of Italians, who rob jewelry stores aboard Ferrari. To stop them, he will have to cooperate with a VTC driver who will lend him a well-known old white taxi.

For once, the director has decided to surround himself with the majority of the cast of his previous film. Only a few faces like that of Bernard Farcy (the commissioner) remind us that this is the fifth episode of a saga. This seems normal considering that all the actors were particularly young when the film was released. Abandoning quite blatantly an already insipid scenario, the native made the bet of total comedy.

But unlike the ridiculous Vin Diesel lookalike he played in Pattaya , he forgets to stage himself. Supported by a tiring gallery of stereotypes, made up jumble of a flirtatious dwarf, an obese nymphomaniac or a mentally retarded person, his character is the only one to act normally. Gastambide also gives a layer by rewarding us with several rather embarrassing scatological scenes, even for teenagers who seem to be the target audience.

In this mess, we nevertheless retain the performance of Bentalha, which is the only real asset of the film. His “Debbouzian” energy keeps some of the gags afloat, and also reverses the relationship established in other Taxi , where the role of the simpleton was held by Diefenthal. The film multiplies the cameos (Soprano, Rene Maleville, Bengous but not Mohamed Henni) without really using them. We would have liked the Marseille “large village” to serve something other than figuration.

It is all the more damaging that the action scenes turn out to be disappointing, whereas they previously represented one of the main interests of the series. The chases boil down to a set of accelerated shots supposed to make us feel the speed, but we have seen much better within the saga itself.

The only visible collision pales in comparison to the monstrous pile-up of the Bir-Hakeim bridge during the second opus. The indebtedness of Luc Besson’s production company is perhaps not for nothing …