Title – The Tax Collector (2020)
Director – David Ayer (Fury)
Cast – Bobby Soto, Shia LaBeouf, Cinthya Carmona, Jose Conejo Martin, George Lopez
Plot – Mexican “tax collector” and family man David (Soto) and his hotheaded off-sider Creeper (LaBeouf) enter into a war with rival crime lord Conejo (Martin) who is intent on taking over their turf.
“I’ll ride with you till the wheels fall off!”
Review by Eddie on 11/11/2020
Before we go into the hot streaming pile of garbage that is The Tax Collector, I think it’s worth remembering that at one time writer/director David Ayer was responsible for the script of gritty cop thriller classic Training Day and also was in charge behind the camera of really quite good thrillers Fury & End of Watch.
His also responsible for downright atrocious films Bright and Sabotage but we could previously put them down to bad luck or mismanagement, but now Ayer’s lack of ability to craft a coherent or well-put together feature is becoming a major concern.
Originally planned for a mid-tier level cinematic release, The Tax Collector comes our way now courtesy of VOD/direct to disc releases and if there was something to be thankful for its that we never had to witness this crime against cinema on the big screen here in Australia as the charisma free Bobby Soto and the extremely method Shia LaBeouf get caught up in a seen a thousand times before story of family loving criminals that find their business mixing with pleasure when a big bad throws his hat in the ring to be the new kingpin.
Much publicity was made around LaBeouf’s role here as the loose-cannon tattoo clad Creeper but make no mistake, LaBeouf may as well not have shown up (and could’ve definitely completed this role without adding to his tattoo collection) as Ayer is more focused on exploring the trials of Soto’s David who has his money rich world turned upside down by the appearance of Jose Conejo Martin’s chicken hating Conejo, a blood-thirsty criminal hellbent on taking over L.A’s drug world.
It’s a constantly nasty and bleak affair, filled with some of Ayer’s worst ever dialogue “I got a .38 on each ankle, .38 on my right, .25 on my left, chopper in the trunk, lockin’ my belt, I’m on it!” is just one such moment that is supposed to get the energy levels up but ends up making you turn your head in concern and the film is filled with a bunch of characters that are neither likable or interesting as Ayer’s obsession with the Mexican criminal underworld finally culminating in this atrociously staged outing.
The films best chance at being something worth enduring was to be found in LaBeouf’s Creeper but he plays a backseat role to proceedings here as we instead get a lot of badly staged family life snippets of David and his offspring/wife that begins to turn into a generic and highly over the top revenge tale that goes too places that make little sense or create little interest as the film falters badly in almost every department.
Final Say –
A new low for Ayer whose obsession with a particular sub-genre and subject matter has culminated in this humiliating misfire, The Tax Collector is not worthy to be placed alongside its creator’s more regarded works and wastes a locked and loaded A-lister on a underutilized character in the process.
1/2 a beer cooler out of 5