Movie Review: No 47. Taxi Driver

Movie Review: No 47. Taxi Driver

Scorsese? More like Snore-sese!


From literally shouting at the TV in frustration over “Shitter Island” and switching off partway through Hugo, to lamenting the missed opportunities in The Departed and Goodfellas… something tells me “Marty” and I are simply not on the same page.

I’m willing to accept that I’ll be alone on this one. The guy is pretty darn popular. To make it into the Top 100 several times is no mean feat… even if I do consider this particular Top 100 list a tad skewed…

The first thing I noticed about ‘Taxi Driver’ was the shameless product placement of Coca-Cola. Even I don’t drink that much of the stuff! Some say it has a bigger role than De Niro himself.

The second thing I noticed is that Robert De Niro does a pretty terrible impression of himself.

Travis Bickle: You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the f@ck do you think you’re talking to? Oh yeah? OK.

That line is up there with the most quoted movie lines of all time and yet, seeing it for myself, I was at a loss to understand why. I’ve seen countless comedians mimic that line with more gusto. It’s like the Chinese whispers of movie quotes – the original is really quite insipid and disappointing!

At 12 years old, Jodie Foster shows why she was born to act. Watching her reminded me of Natalie Portman in ‘Leon: The Professional‘. It’s quite something to see talent like that in action. I’ve always been fascinated by child actors with that level of skill. Few of them reach adulthood with the wherewithal to live up to their potential, making the highly successful Jodie Foster and Natalie Portman extra special.

I suppose I feel like I didn’t “get” this movie. I can see how it may have been avant garde in its time and perhaps if I had seen it then I would have been more impressed. These days, however, I feel as though I’ve seen it all before and there is very little left to make this film special. It is yet another film that could have done with some serious editing in the first half to cut to the chase in the second. I watched it in two parts, stopping it on the first night just before things got exciting, only to switch it back on last night and find an entirely different movie in its place. I’m going to have to blame that one on the director. Somebody please introduce Scorsese to the “edit” button!

imdb tells me that Robert De Niro worked twelve hour days for a month driving taxis to prepare for the role. Now THAT is commitment. He certainly gives a convincing portrayal of batshit crazy.

All in all this movie taught me two things:

  1. Just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s good, and
  2. The more uneven the mohawk, the crazier the punk.

If you strongly disagreed with my negative reviews of The Departed and Goodfellas, you’ll probably love this movie. For me, it rates a big fat “meh” on the pumpkin meter.

5 pumpkins.

Have you seen ‘Taxi Driver’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.

One response »

  1. Jodie Foster has always been one of my favorites. I don’t know why she got such a bad wrap after this film when Regan was shot – Americans never cease to amaze me. I haven’t watched Taxi Driver in years and I guess that’s because I wasn’t overly impressed with it when I was younger.

    Happy New Year 😀

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