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Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon team up for this outlandishly stupid buddy c won't nitpick) rolls over through the earrs about a bank robbery in progress aen thieves who give Belle and Washburn a reale plan to track down the bank rober, there isn't an iota of chemistry between the two stars--until you see the outtakes with the closing credits. The camaraderie they appear to have shared while filming just never transpired on the final cut. Kudos, however, to Brazilian model Bundchen, who surprisingly injects the right amount of humor into the role of sexy bank robber Vanessa. Honorable mention goes to the Vanessa's getaway car, a chiaretto red metallic BMW 745Li sedan, which outperforms its castmates by a quarter mile.


Director Tim Story, who helmed the outrageously funny Barbershop, falls from grace with the mega-lame Taxi, the English-language remake of the 1998 hit French comedy that spawned two sequels. But this adaptation, credited to more than five scribes, is so implausible it's almost insulting. I don't know what's worst, the fact that so-called car enthusiast Belle poured that much money into souping up an automatic Crown Victoria or the fact that her dreams of becoming a NASCAR driver come true by the time the credits roll. Taxi's final scene, complete with a cameo appearance by Jeff Gordon, might as well have been sponsored by NASCAR's ''Drive for Diversity'' program aimed at creating minority drivers and crews for regional races. But until the day comes when Gordon faces a black competitor--an overweight one at that--it's impossible to buy Belle as the Tiger Woods of NASCAR. The far-fetched storyline is exacerbated by director of photography Vance Burberry's unflattering lighting, which grossly emphasizes every one of generally beautiful Queen Latifah's 2,000-odd pores and pancake makeup.

Bottom Line

Taxi proves it takes more than a talented cast and crew to churn out quality entertainment.