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Taxi (2004)

Jimmy Fallon, Queen Latifah, ... | LATIFAH AND FALLON
Image credit: Taxi: Kerry Hayes

Details Release Date: Oct 08, 2004; Rated: PG-13; Length: 97 Minutes; Genre: Comedy; With: Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah; Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

No, it's not what you're thinking -- but when Jimmy Fallon first got the screenplay, the same thing crossed his mind. ''I was looking for Jim Ignatowski references,'' he says, ''but to the teen audience I don't think anyone will even know what that name means.'' Translation: This ''Taxi'' bears no relation to what Fallon calls ''my favorite sitcom ever'' (which featured Christopher Lloyd as Rev. Jim Ignatowski). Rather, it's based on one of France's all-time top movies, a Marseilles-set flick from 1998. In the U.S. version, bad-driving cop Fallon enlists Queen Latifah and her souped-up New York City cab to nab a band of Brazilian bank robbers -- who happen to be supermodels led by catwalker Gisele Bündchen. Quips Fallon: ''Based on a true story.''

Director Tim Story (''Barbershop'') calls the action comedy ''kind of like 'Rush Hour,' a little bit of 'Midnight Run,' and then a little bit of '48 HRS.''' Which meant tons of improv by Fallon, Latifah, and Ann-Margret, who plays Fallon's boozy mom. Not to mention tons of car chases and shoot-outs. ''It was just like candy,'' says Fallon, who left his ''SNL'' ''Weekend Update'' days behind this spring. ''Every day you're on set you're just like, 'Okay, what's next? Oh, cool, I get to shoot a gun?! Great! I get to run while I'm shooting it?! Awesome!''' But the biggest commotion came when fans swarmed the movie's set last fall to catch a glimpse of its sexy star. And we don't mean Gisele. ''I'm going 'Jimmy Fallon?!''' Story says. ''I mean, you know, the guy's not ugly, but I was like, 'Jimmy Fallon?!'''

WHAT'S AT STAKE Fallon's film career. Is he the next Will Ferrell?

Originally posted Aug 10, 2004 Published in issue #779-780 Aug 20, 2004 Order article reprints

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