Wacky 1988 PG-13 Tax Comedy with the great James Hong
This movie is another little bit of flotsam from the culture void which emerged in the Reagan 80's. The movie has a rather unlikely basis: a wacky goofball comedy set in a tax office. Oh yeah, nothing spells hilarity like going to H & R Block. I'm giggling already. So a handsome young middle American white man names Alan (Fritz Bonner) decides to drop everything in Cleveland and purchase a tax business, sight-unseen, in downtown Hollywood. What he fails to realize, unfortunately, is that the previous owner had to leave because he had a nervous breakdown from trying to deal with his unmanageable staff, which includes a Cuban horse- racing fanatic who still uses the Cuban tax code when dealing with his American customers, his bookie, the obligatory useless secretary, and the coup de grace, a call girl who turns tricks in her office at the tax place. What would a movie with this unlikely cast of screwballs be without two things, though: the love interest and the villain? The former is played by Ms. Debi Fares, an alumnus of three of the lesser Killer Tomato sequels and the unwatchable Happy Hour (1987). The latter, however, is the only reason to check this movie out, as the villain, Mr. Tagasaki (aka the Cocaine Cookie Cowboy) is played by the great James Hong, a veteran TV and movie character actor whose long list of credits spans from more than 50 years ago right through to Kung Fu Panda. He steals the show here, and is given the chance to revel in the role of the nefarious drug lord disguised as an upstanding citizen, who accidentally gives the wrong set of books to Alan, the straight and narrow new owner of the tax business. This sets in motion the main dramatic conflict of the film. I won't say anymore, other than if you've seen one wacky 80's comedy, you know how it's gonna end. If you can track down a copy of this, it's worth checking out for Hong's performance alone.
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