Night Fare

I’m now into my fourth month of a self- imposed stay at home, due to the coronavirus pandemic, an illness I don’t have.
Last evening, after spending most of the day going through my collection of books to find something to re-read, and playing two and a half hours of solitaire on my computer, I grabbed a can of malt liquor and decided I would try to sit through a movie on Netflix.
I have pretty much given up on television, except lately I have been watching foreign movies. One of the best things about foreign movies for me is subtitles. I’m at the age that I miss about every fourth word, if I listen to movies.
So, after spending twenty some odd minutes surfing the Netflix guide, I saw an ad for a French movie titled “Night Fare.” The movie was released in 2015.
I switch to the promo, and watch a big bad ass black American car with a taxi light on the top of it cruise the lonely streets of a big city.
That was enough for me. I’m a car buff, and I love muscle cars, although all my muscle cars are Hot Wheels in 1/64th scale. The movie starts off with some burly thug peeling the cloth cover off of the black taxi.
After that, a twenty something year old named Chris gets off the bus from London to Paris. He’s met at the station by Luc, his friend about the same age, and a pretty French woman that turns out to be a former girlfriend. Her name is Ludivine.
They go to a party where lots of drugs, drinking and sex goes on. Chris is not happy at the party. There was some tension between him and Ludivine. Chris wants to leave the party and Luc goes with him, after advising him that they should stay.
Out on the street, they flag down the black taxi, after the driver deliberately tries to pass them up. After a few passes, they get into the cab and tell the driver where they want to go. He hasn’t said anything and he doesn’t say anything, he just drives.
The two men make a few comments to this big burly driver, dressed all in black, with muscular arms covered in tattoos.
Luc gives the driver the wrong address, and when he pulls up to what he thinks is their destination, Luc gives the driver the old I need to use the atm routine, and the two men dash out of the cab, stiffing the driver out of a fare that says 45.00 on the meter. After running out of the cab, Chris realizes that he left his backpack and cell phone in the taxi.
The chase is on, and the driver keeps the meter running. It seems that everywhere the men run, the cabbie is onto them. While the cab screeches around the streets of Paris, somber music is playing in the background, and the driver looks really pissed off.
I don’t want to have to post a spoiler alert, so let’s just say that for the next twenty or thirty minutes, Chris and Luc are chased around the city, while the meter keeps ticking.
During this time, Chris and Luc are robbed, and the taxi driver kills three crooked cops and spares one innocent cop’s life. It becomes clear later in the movie as to why he spared the one cop.
The meter is still running and the taxi driver kills seven criminals at a drug house. He uses a samurai sword that belongs to the drug dealer, throws a criminal out of a second story window and dispatches the others using his martial arts skills.
Chris and Luc escape from the drug house. Meanwhile, the taxi driver has located Ludivine by using Chris’s cell phone and has taken her hostage, in order to draw Chris and Luc to him.
Chris and Luc are on the run again, and there’s a flashback of a terrible crime committed by the two men two years earlier.
By now, I’m convinced that this cab driver is a serial killer, but the plot takes another turn. The taxi driver is actually a good guy. He just looks bad. We never hear him speak, but he does whisper to two people.
In the last fifteen minutes the story reveals that the taxi driver is on some kind of mission, but I don’t want to spoil the best part of the movie.
This movie is not a horror movie, it’s a thriller. I didn’t even have nightmares that night when I went to bed.

Leroy B. Vaughn’s stories, fiction and nonfiction, essays and articles have been published in print, e-zines, anthologies and podcasts.

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