fredag 6 november 2020

The Tax Collector

You can end up dead, or you change your life. This is the reality for real criminals, who live a very hard reality in a world filled with hate, violence and power. Some of them can´t get out because of personal issues, while some of them get tired of living a life filled in fear, not knowing if they can survive. We all know that criminals will always be around, no matter if we are talking about drug dealers or gangsters. As long as they can make a lot of money, they will never stop. The only way out is usually in a body bag, unless you end up in prison. When it comes to films that take on the lives of criminals, i have one personal favourite film that i have seen a lot of times. And that is the 1993 film known as Blood In Blood Out from director Taylor Hackford. This film tells the story of young men who are part of the Chicano ( Mexican Americans ) community, as members of the criminal gang Vatos Locos. Blood In Blood Out is one of the best criminal drama films of the 90´s, with really good acting performances, and especially strong characters. I also feel that the story telling in this film is also very well constructed. And even if this film is long, you won´t feel it because this is such a powerful story of the lives of Chicano criminals. If you have not seen this film, you have to pick it up on DVD. In my opinion, this is one of the better films about criminal gangs that give a realistic portrait of how rough it is in these neighborhoods. I also have to mention that this is one of the best acting performances that actor Damian Chapa have ever done in his career. Even if he have done a lot of films, i think this is without a doubt his best work so far. Speaking about the mexican community, there are a lot of great films that brings up the issues of criminals of Mexican relatives. You have the classic film Traffic from the year of 2000, and of course the powerful film Sicario from 2015. So about a week ago i stumbled upon a film called The Tax Collector, that brings up the subject of  criminal tax collectors, who will make sure they get paid or someone could end up dead. The one thing i especially noticed is that this film is directed by David Ayes, who have a history of making great films. Without even seeing the trailer for this film, is this one of the better films i have seen this autumn, or is The Tax Collector a film that we have seen so many times before, with a better result than this?

In Los Angeles, David Cuevas ( Bobby Soto ) lives what seems to be a normal life with his wife Alexis ( Cinthya Carmona ) and their two children. But what David does for a living, is quite different from the ordinary work. He works as a tax collector with his partner, and friend Creeper ( Shia LaBeouf ), who both work for their boss The Wizard ( Jimmy Smits ). They travel across Los Angeles to make sure that everyone that owns money, pay on time, or things could end up bad. But not everyone appreciate what David and Creeper is doing, and they are about to find out that they are in trouble.

If you were hoping for a classic such as Training Day ( that i will be doing a 20 years anniversary review of next year ), then you might be disappointed. But if you do appreciate films that bring up criminals and issues that are related to their lifestyle, then The Tax Collector do have some important issues to bring up. Especially on the two main characters, who are tax collectors. We have seen similar films before, so i can´t say that this film is original in any way. But it is the two main characters who make this film interesting. They are two very different personalities, that look at their job in different ways. But they are forced to do everything they can to make their job work, as good as it is possible. Actors Bobby Soto and Shia LaBeouf as taxo collectors David and Creeper, manage to pull off their acting performances in a positive way. Especially Shia LaBeouf who i have never seen do a character like this before, and i find that interesting. The scenes that they have together are actually the strongest parts of the film, since they have found a way to make their chemistry work on screen. It takes a while before the violence kicks in, since the film focus more on telling the story of the two main characters, but when it finally arrives i can not complain. There are some brutal scenes, and that is actually a good thing for a film like this, considering we are dealing with very dangerous gangs across the city. I have to mention actor Jose Conejo Martin who plays the gang leader Conejo, this is his second film and i have a feeling that he will deliver us something special in the future, if he keeps up delivering interesting characters. Director David Ayes ( who directed films such as Suicide Squad and Bright ) have made a film that manage to capture the brutality of a criminal life, but also how important it is to hold on to the things that may bring you hope. The Tax Collector is one of those films that may not win any awards, but do have some important things to say about making the right choices in life. And it is good for young people to see what problems that usually follow if you make some bad decisions. Have nothing good to watch this weekend? Why not pick The Tax Collector and give it a chance, you might actually enjoy it.

Rating: DDD

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