Believable story about a city and "Hell on Earth". It feels like a honest character study where we see our taxi chauffeur driving through neon lit dirty streets of ungodly deeds. It also gives a good definition on how violence create violent anti-heroes. A dark and unhappy movie from the lowest side of civilization that both kicks and punches you in the face.
As much as I love Scorsese, I really think he has made only three films of utter importance (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas). My issue with Raging Bull is it felt like he was shooting for a masterpiece. This feel feels effortless and is just as fresh now as it was then.
Taxi Driver is about a mentally unstable marine who's back from Vietnam and trying to live a normal life. The film shows his attempts and failures to make some connection with other people. He meets a beautiful woman and ends up taking her to a pornographic movie. Most of the film is about him trying to rescue a 12 year old prostitute, and it ends with him shooting up the brothel and trying to kill himself too.
This is a movie where you see it once, and you get it, and you never need to see it again. Just not a big fan of the violence if it's realistic. Fake violence built Hollywood after the 60's. This film is quoted enough for you to understand why it's a classic. This was during DeNiro's golden period. You look at the movies he's doing now, and they seem to be parodies of his earlier work.
"All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me."
New York, New York; this is no love letter to the City, but it’s one of the greatest portraits of any city in movie history. Yet the portrait would be nothing if there wasn’t Travis Bickle, the moralist nihilist through whose eyes we see the dirt and hear the screams. In the end, Travis and “Taxi Driver’s” New York are quite alike: deranged and murderous and full of hate.
One of those films that’s hard not to view through the “classic” lens. That shouldn’t deride from its greatness however. Scorsese captures a very particular, yet almost, and disturbingly, universal state of mind. Travis Bickle is disturbing to most, more disturbing to those who can identify with him, which is a disturbingly great many.
It's impossible to discuss Taxi Driver without repeating what has already been said. Extra praise is redundant, whether heaped upon Scorsese, Schrader, De Niro, Foster, Shepherd, Herrmann, or anyone else. The only thing I'll say is that the film retains a feeling of palpable danger throughout. Danger for the characters onscreen and danger in terms of cinematic attitude, what it shows and where it takes the audience.
The Big Seventies Masterpiece — or is it? The guy's alienation and descent into toxic delusions almost make it, all right. But the famous rampage is, in fact, anticlimactic, and the tucked-on end scenes take everything back by being both implausible and ethically gross. I suspect the film's enormous prestige resulted from the trigger-happy fantasies it induced in undiscerning male viewers, banal as that. Enter Rambo.