#REVIEW: “THE TAX COLLECTOR”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Devoted father and husband David (Bobby Soto) and his best friend Creeper (Shia LaBeouf) are Tax Collectors for a Los Angeles Crime Lord named Wizard (Jimmy Smits). They spend their days driving around the city and aggressively collecting Wizard’s cut from the profits of local gangs’ illicit dealings. But when Wizard’s old rival returns to LA, the two quickly realize the business is being upended. And when the old rival threatens David’s family, David does whatever it takes to protect them.
The Tax Collector follows a common L.A. crime tale, but through the lens of family and Tax Collectors. Although it feels familiar, David Ayer brings some of his signature directing style to give his newest Film his own flare. When it comes to action sequences, Ayer doesn’t hold back. He uses action throughout holding the audience’s attention with gruesome and well-shot scenes. In the first act, Ayer spends time driving around in the car with his two characters. It’s here we feel we are there, eavesdropping on them and their relationship. Unfortunately, we don’t learn much other than surface-level motivations and familial outlooks.
Soto elevates his devoted family man character with quiet moments and lingering eyes that lovingly watch his family allow audiences to understand what drives him. It’s this texture in his performance that visualizes David’s need to provide for his family, while also risking it all for them. On the page, David shows us what he’s capable of, while Creeper tells us. We never get to see this menacing character in action. But LaBeouf does his best to show us what could’ve been. His stature, stare and stride dominate others, and he makes any lines of dialogue sound threatening.
There is a lot to like about The Tax Collector, Ayer’s Script is loaded with action and violence which his fans have come to love of him and that carries the Film from beginning to end. However, I wish it dove a bit deeper into its characters, particularly the intriguing Creeper.
VVS Films release THE TAX COLLECTOR on Digital and On-Demand September 8, 2020.