Is this the quintessential 80s movie?
And that’s why it’s worth a watch. There’s a whole genre of movie that reads like Mad Libs.
A ragtag, motley crew of PROFESSION (cabbies) need to save their floundering business form being run out of town by ENEMY (a rival company) and an overbearing financier. The cast, verbatim from the opening credits, includes POP CULTURE ICON (Mr. T), GENETIC ABNORMALITIES (the Barbarian Brothers… for real, this is how their credit reads; obviously they’re musclebound WWF rejects), Adam Baldwin (the only Baldwin not related to any other Baldwin), MARGINALLY RELEVANT CELEB WHO WAS TOTALLY UNKNOWN AT THE TIME (Bill Maher), MARGINAL CELEB THAT HAS NEVER BEEN RELEVANT (Paul Rodriguez), and Gary Busey as Gary Busey.
It hits every single beat of stereotypical 80s movies, including subplots of the struggling owner on the outs with his bitchy wife; a young college grad looking for love and hoping to make a lasting impact as a cabbie (again… for real), the black guy out to show the world, Mr. T trying to keep kids off drugs, and a degenerate who learns nothing but has a good time all the time. (HINT: Starts with B, ends with usey.) It goes without saying that one of the cabbies (Rodriguez) is a wannabe gigalo, and the company has a cab that only drives backwards. Obligatory parade is also seen, and Irene Cara makes a cameo as herself.
Because it predates nearly every other 80s movie I’ve seen that has this premise and style, I think this might be the film that launched the genre of 80s underdogs overcoming impossible odds, a la Summer School, One Crazy Summer, Ski Patrol, et al.
And DC Cab, written by Joel Schumacher, the sonovabitch who killed the Batman franchise in the late 90s, is BETTER THAN ALL OF THOSE MOVIES.
Busey’s Dell steals the movie with this line:
Why are women so uptight? They got half the money and all the pussy.
I say, without a hint of irony or sarcasm, that DC Cab is a hidden gem. NONE of my film reviewing e-friends have covered it, so they don’t deserve a plug, but I’m the Megazord of kind. So go check out Daniel’s Film Reviews, Dan the Man (I think they need to fight for the name Dan; its like the Real Ghostbusters and Filmations Ghost Busters… confusing), Head in a Vice, Today I Watched a Movie, and Film Hipster for some great non-DC Cab reviews.
You should watch this movie yourself on Netflix streaming.