The Taxman cometh--the government's most abused and underappreciated civil servant is reinvented as an unlikely hero in Avi Nesher's rambling crime drama. Al Benjamin (Joe Pantoliano) is a New York State tax investigator who stumbles onto a large cartel trying to defraud the good state of New York. Muddling his way through the case, Benjamin teams up with equally inept patrol cop Joseph Romero (Wade Dominguez) to expose the connection between the evil corporation and Brighton Beach's Russian mob. Pantoliano and Dominguez run through a particularly strained form of buddy-cop dynamic, with the former as a loose-cannon, paper-pushing schmuck, and the latter, his quiet, misunderstood, and supposedly intelligent counterpart (he dons a pair of wire-rimmed frames for the scenes requiring thought-out commentary). Throw in Elizabeth Berkley as a mob insider's daughter?turned?love interest, whose Russian accent isn't nearly as disastrous as one might imagine, but whose attempt to muster looks of concern for Daddy is more painful than a gut full of bullets, and you have a wintertime crime caper that truly leaves you cold.
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