VOD REVIEW: Tax Collector a messy, high-octane misfire

There’s two sure things in life: Death and taxes. And yet, for a movie about the grisly lives of two crime lord employees who collect taxes from local gangs feels completely, utterly devoid of any reason for existence.

With a solid writer-director in David Ayer, who wrote Training Day, End Of Watch, and directed the incredible war film Fury on board, this should be a hit. And yet, it’s a cardboard cut-out, explicitly offensive, needlessly bloody affair with no beating heart.

This film about two the families and friends of the two tax collectors who run afoul of a rival of their boss finds a way to be both boring and bland even with an interesting premise.

Shia LaBeouf — who has known Ayer a long time and provided an incredible performance in Fury — ends his winning streak with this terrible, racist and offensive role. He plays Creeper, a collector with a heart of stone. The problem, however, is the white LaBeouf walks around with a fake Spanish accent.

It’s been said in interviews that his character is supposed to have acclimatized to the culture that he has worked in for so long. But truthfully, the reason doesn’t matter. It’s off-putting, unnecessary and in such poor taste that it made me forget this actor was one of my favourites for the duration of the film.

The one shining light is Bobby Soto, who struggles to make something out of nothing here. He’s got a wonderful future in film ahead of him, but this won’t be on his highlight reel.

1/5 Stars

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