This rip-roaring adventure drama was written by Roger Berger, a real-life New York tax inspector whose intrepid investigation eventually exposed conspiracy between Getty Oil and members of the Russian Mafia in Brighton Beach. Director and co-writer Avi Nesher has made a fascinating film about an ordinary man whose ardent pursuit of justice opens up his constricted life.
Joe Pantoliano gives a tour de force performance as Al Benjamin, a restless investigator for the New York Tax Department. Looking into several murders in the Russian immigrant community in Brooklyn, he stumbles upon a multi-million dollar conspiracy involving 380 gas stations and a mysterious white-collar criminal who is orchestrating the whole thing. Assisted by an inept cop (Wade Dominguez), Benjamin pursues his private crusade to expose the illegal operation. Along the way, he is very much taken by Nadia Rubokov (Elizabeth Berkley), the daughter of one of his informants. Benjamin's persistence finally pays off when he involves Peyton Cody (Robert Townsend), a prosecuting attorney, in the case. The Taxman presents an idiosyncratic hero whose quest for meaning is inspiring. And like the Englishman in Zorba the Greek, he learns to dance even in the face of catastrophe.