A Taxing Woman’s Return

If Juzo Itami’s wonderful first two features, The Funeral and Tampopo, suggested the work of a Japanese Frank Tashlin at his funniest and brightest, A Taxing Woman and now its even slicker sequel suggest that he has settled for being, at best, the Japanese Blake Edwards. His second feature about the machinations of tax inspector Ryoko Itakura (Nobuko Miyamoto, Itami’s wife) as she takes off after gangsters and corrupt politicians was an enormous box-office draw in Japanwhich has a certain sociological interest but doesn’t make this movie any more than what it is: a conventional and not very exciting or interesting comedy-thriller. If you’re not expecting much you’ll probably be diverted (1988). (JR)

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