The Tax Collector Review The Buff and The Blazer
The Tax Collector has recently been the subject of harsh reviews. Critics across the internet have poured in their complaints. Despite the critiques, David Ayer’s film does have its strengths. The artistry is high quality. Cinematography is one element of that. Scenes are filled with visual atmosphere that is more than meets the eye. Aside from the technical artistry, the film’s main strength is its acting talent. The film features dedicated performances across the board. The on-screen talent adds nuance to all the negativity.
The Tax Collector takes place in Los Angeles and features beautiful imagery. In many ways, LA is a character in the film. The city provides the main atmosphere. The skyline is on display from a distance which is unusual. It gives the sense that the gleaming city is not its true nature. The atmosphere continues indoors. The interior of David’s (Bobby Soto) house looks like any other small family home. That imagery contrasts with the high-stakes life that he lives. His profession is other-worldly in comparison to his family life.
Another set of interiors that emphasize a contrast in appearance and reality, are Conejo’s (Jose Conejo Martin) hideouts. Like Conejo himself, the places he occupies are more interesting under the surface. As you enter inside, the camera captures elaborate imagery. Some rooms are lit in neon colors. Others are decorated with exotic ritual items. Near the end of the film, the theme switches. The gang lord Conejo operates in a small dingy apartment room. All in all, things are not what they seem.
The strongest element of The Tax Collector is its actors. Everyone gives a compelling performance. The characters in the film occupy different worlds. Some characters live in the gang world while others occupy the everyday world. Creeper (Shia LaBeouf) mainly occupies the gang world. His character traits and personality exhibit the world around him. Shia pulls off the intimidation/violent traits perfectly.
On the other hand, Alexis (Cynthia Carmona) lives in the everyday world. She is first and foremost a wife and mother. Her qualities are specific to the world most of us know. While she does do some work in the gang world, it remains foreign to her. Cynthia brings an element of heart and innocence to the role. She is the lens in for the viewers to connect with the story.
David is somewhere in between. He is a family man but also occupies the gang world. While David is comfortable there, it also seems like he wants to leave it. Bobby Soto does a great job exhibiting the complexity of those emotions. His character is at home in both worlds. For him, family and profession are often mixed, and he is loyal to both.
While The Tax Collector does have its share of problems, the artistry and performances make it a film worth watching.
The Tax Collector is available digitally!
Check out some of our other reviews here!