Not very is the expectation-crushing answer. Because from the moment our cyclist removes her helmet to reveal Queen Latifah, this Holly-remake of the 1998 French hit starts running out of gas. That’s not to say the Chicago star deserves points on her acting licence; on the contrary, she’s the best thing here, her boisterous but big-hearted ’tude preventing a full-blown slide into turkey-dom.
No, the problem is that this action comedy delivers on neither front. You’ve got the same set-up as the original – cop and cabbie tackle bank robbers on the road. Heck, you’ve even got the same producer, Monsieur Luc Besson. But what you don’t got is the comic-book energy, the broad laughs and, most importantly, the bloody cool car chases. Overdosing on U-turns, all of the vehicle pursuits here look the same; none of them get the pulse pounding. The low thrill-count doesn’t bode well for Barbershop director Tim Story’s next gig, The Fantastic Four.
But it’s not his name you’ll be cursing most when the credits roll. That’ll be Jimmy Fallon, former Saturday Night Live regular and the roadblock that continually holds up Latifah’s comic sass. Supermodel-turned-actress Gisele Bundchen certainly makes a leggy impression, but sadly she’s saddled with a character so thin it makes Kate Moss look like a hippo. Her gratuitous girl-on-girl frisking scene marks the movie’s nadir, a tacky touch that chimes with the sexism of the French version.
Only Queen Latifah saves this rank remake from being a total write-off. For a wilder, wittier ride, you'd be better off hailing the French original.