The Tax Collector
In the dangerous world of Los Angeles’s underbelly two inconspicuous john wick-type characters collect taxes from the local gangs for the crime lord-and yes I am not making this up-called Wizard. Yet quite predictably things don’t go as planned when a nemesis of the Wizard makes his debut and all hell breaks loose.
The story is more focused on the collectors-hence the title- rather than the old rivalry between the unrelenting kingpins, even if they are the ones who drive the narrative of the story. The relationship between Creeper and David (the two tax collectors) is center stage, as their interplay is the main focus of this movie and serves to reveal the different nuances of the people, who choose to inhabit such a surreal and yet at the same time realistic ecosystem. This feeds excellently into the lore that this production is trying to bring to life, which tends to focus on the immersion of moviegoers into this thriller.
Creeper, played by Shia LaBeouf, is an interesting and shadowy figure, who in the wake of his own ruthless and violent actions, reveals a man deduced of empathy for human life. While in contrast David, played by Bobby Soto, reveals a man amid a double life, that of a family man and a crime lord henchman. His inability to choose one over the other leads to his children’s kidnapping and the quest to set them free, now not as a collector but as a father.
In this lens, David is the movie’s most humane character and Crepper the movie’s most unsettling one. Their interactions as companions in the same side are what sets this movie apart, and a plethora of events reveals not only the lore of the world they’re in but also how the protagonists came to be and their expected cathartic transformation, as they dwell in a world in which survival is victory.
This crime thriller is written, directed, and produced by David Ayer and starring Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona, George Lopez, and Shia LaBeouf is expected to be released, by RLJE Films, on August 7, 2020.