New York City. The not too distant future. With the economy caught in a downward spiral and cheap rides easily available via the Chau4U app, traditional yellow cab drivers struggle to cling to their increasingly obsolete jobs. Add a record-breaking heatwave, and you’ve got a powder keg just waiting for a spark.
Then, one particularly muggy Saturday morning, someone finally lights the match: Jake “The Wolf” Job (Samuel L. Jackson), the oldest of the old school cabbies, recently laid off and absolutely pissed about it. Broadcasting from an unknown location, he’s hijacked multiple radio stations and issued a challenge to every taxi driver who will listen. Their mission: rack up as many fares as possible within twenty-four hours; whoever earns the most money will receive a special prize, courtesy of Chau4U’s CEO.
As chaos erupts across every borough, two down-on-their-luck detectives (John Turturro and Woody Harrelson), convinced that this crazy competition was devised to draw attention away from some larger caper, scramble to track down The Wolf and uncover his real motives. Meanwhile, one young, idealistic racer (Dev Patel) inadvertently unearths the horrifying truth behind Chau4U’s rapid rise to dominance; even if he wins the ultimate prize, will he survive the consequences of knowing too much?
[Originally written December 31, 2016.]