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REVIEW: Taxi Brooklyn

Taxi Brooklyn is based on the French film franchise Taxi. The premise of the French film a bumbling police detective (Frédéric Dienfenthal) unable to drive is driven around the city by a Taxi Driver (Samy Nasri) in a supped up car is reduced to a police detective being driven around by a taxi driver. The frenetic pace of the films is lost in this TV adaptation, which decides that it is a straight forward police procedural drama.

 

The comedy franchise was a brake out success in the early 2000s and it was followed by an American version starring Queen Latyfa as the Driver and Jimmy Fallon as the police detective. This time the detective is played by Chyler Leigh and the driver by Jack Ido.

The move to make the series more PC friendly diminishes the role of the bumbling detective, while he's not as bumbling as Peter Seller's Inspector Clouseau the film series still rely on a certain amount of slapstick comedy. Something completely missing in the TV series. The female detective is not a comic role rather she is a fairly straight forward cop. The male taxi drive is slightly played for laughs but in general he's there to drive her around as she seeks out her father's murders and she is largely there to prevent him being deported back to France.

The two back stories don't suit a comedy, hence why largely successful comedies are reduced to a 45 minute episodic drama.

Jennifer Esposito links the American film to the series but she plays the role of the medical examiner, rather than a police Lieutenant. She is completely underutilised. You'd wonder is she there purely to make up the female numbers.

Unlike the films the Capitan (James Colby) doesn't really lock horns with the detective rather he's a family friend and the detective’s godfather, though perhaps later a twist will show he knew who kill her father.

Her mother is played for laughs and brings Ally Walker back to comic acting, and for what little script she has she delivers her lines on time, but she has very little to work with.

Considering the strong female cast members its disappointing that the series cannot grasp the comedy of the films.

If you are looking to watch an action packed comedy TV series you'll be disappointed. The taxi isn't supped up and for budgetary reasons car chases are kept to a minimum.

The series premiered on NBC in 2014 and is available on Netflix. It was not renewed for a second season. If you can find the French films check them out.