Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Starring: Bobby Soto, Shia LaBeouf, Jose Conejo Martin, Cinthya Carmona, and more.
I have been excited for this one to release since my friend showed me the trailer to it. “The Tax Collector”, starring Bobby Soto and Shia LeBeouf, directed by the man who did “Fury” and “Suicide Squad.” The trailer looked impressive to me, and it has some solid ingredients to make at least an exciting action flick. So let’s see what we get!
“A ‘tax collector’ working for a local crime lord finds his family’s safety compromised when the rival of his boss shows up in L.A. and upends the business.”
Well…..shit. Yeah so this just ain’t it. “The Tax Collector” finishes practically empty and unconvincing. To start, I guess I will go after the performances. First and foremost, we have the king, Shia LaBeouf as “Creeper.” Shia is essentially a man among boys here. He is the monster, the muscle, the loyal one and he performs as such. For sure not one of his best performances, but he is at least the only convincing character and interesting one.
Aside from Shia, literally everyone falls far from the mark. Lead, Bobby Soto, does not put on a convincing gang boss, or at least the boss’ runner. I prefer a more sinister and/or aggressive tone. The character of David, whom Soto plays, feels more like a WWE heel than a gang boss. Admittedly, David comes to form through his actions by the end of the film when he has quite literally everything taken away from him. So at least, there is that.
The villain, Conejo, also does not provide much to work with. Yet another cartoon-like villain that sounds funny versus being intimidating. At this point, I think I would have preferred a silent film with captions than hearing the characters interact. At least then I would have believed the tension.
This story moved way too fast to actually feel the drama it attempted to present. At this point after watching the film, I get what happened but I have no emotional attachment to the events. Which is what I want in movies, especially ones that I favor strongly. For example, there are some deep and emotional moments that actually do happen here, but before you can sit in the moment, we are on the way to the next task.
Now to piggyback on the topic of fast movement, the editing in this film is a joke. The cuts are quick and the transitions are comical. The one glaring one I remember was that we leave a meeting to an overhead shot of some traffic with a heavy soundtrack playing, and we sat in that cut for maybe 2 seconds, then it instantly cuts into another conversation elsewhere. Just bad, man.
This is a disappointing one, man. I am mostly a fan of Ayer films. The trailer provided most of the best moments of the movie (shocker). Now, I am sitting here upset that another 2020 movie misses its mark, and continues to stamp that this year truly is a toxic pool for Hollywood. Like I said, Shia is good, there is some violence here to appreciate, for the violent movie fans, but that is about all the good there is. Your life can go on without putting this on your watched list.
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