Oct 102020

The Tax Collector doesn’t really break new ground in any sense. It has a familiar story and while Shia LaBeouf was great for the amount of screen time he has, while Bobby Soto has the look of a leading man, but lacked the charisma.



The Tax Collector

Genre(s): Drama, Crime, Suspense/Thriller
RLJ Entertainment | NR – 95 min. – $35.97 | October 6, 2020

Date Published: 10/10/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: David Ayer
Writer(s): David Ayer (written by)
Cast: Bobby Soto, Shia LaBeouf, Cinthya Carmona, George Lopez, Jose Conejo Martin, Cheyenne Rae Hernandez

Features: Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio (4K/BD): English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 1.85
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Dynamic Range: NA
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

RLJ Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 2½/5

Plot Synopsis: David (BOBBY SOTO) and Creeper (SHIA LABEOUF) are “tax collectors” for the crime lord Wizard, collecting his cut from the profits of local gangs’ illicit dealings. But when Wizard’s old rival, Conejo (JOSE CONEJO MARTIN), returns to Los Angeles from Mexico, the business is upended, and David finds himself desperate to protect what matters to him than anything else: his family.

Quick Hit Review: The Tax Collector is the latest film from writer-director David Ayer, most noted for Suicide Squad, a movie that received much, and deserved, criticism and I suspect even if his original vision (#releasetheayercut) was fulfilled, I’m not entirely confident it would result in a significantly better movie. So as a filmmaker, Ayer is hit or miss, more on the latter. However, he has helmed a few solid films like Fury and Street Kings, as well as writing credits that included Training Day and The Fast and the Furious.

The Tax Collector seems to strive to be a sort of Hispanic version of The Godfather (even a critic’s quote on the back makes the comparison) and while I can see some similarities with a apparently good family man whose “profession” is to collect on money from sales of drugs, this isn’t an overly ambitious film, perhaps due budgetary reasons or Ayer just felt like keeping the focus on Bobby Soto’s David character. As such, as much as Soto has the look of a leading actor, he doesn’t hold enough charisma to carry the film. In fact I would say the film might’ve been better off with Shia LaBeouf’s sociopathic Creeper, not unlike why Benicio del Toro was one of the highlights of Sicario (and he should’ve been nominated for that part).

The script and story, written by Ayer, was one of the other drawbacks. The first hour or so I thought this was just going to be some sort of character drama, a talky flick following David and Creeper as they collect on the “taxes” in some of the rougher spots around Los Angeles. But instead, the plot begins to unfold in the final 30-40 minutes with the entrance of Conejo, a drug lord moving in on the Wizard’s territory and David’s refusal to pledge loyalty to him, which places David’s wife and children in danger. There are some elements here that work, but not nearly enough to make the film as a whole all that compelling.

In the end, The Tax Collector is unfortunately par for the course of late for Ayer. I like the dude and seems like a cool guy to hang with, and I do think at least this was a step in the right direction, going back to his roots of the gritty crime-drama.



This 4K UHD/Blu-ray comes housed in a Steelbook and I believe might be a Best Buy exclusive. Not much in terms of features, just three Deleted Scenes (12:21).


4K VIDEO – 4/5, BD VIDEO – 3¾/5

From my memory, I believe The Tax Collector is RLJ Entertainment’s second film to be released on the 4K Ultra HD format. This 2160p high-definition transfer, presented with a 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio, isn’t anything incredible, but still decent. Contrasting it to the included Blu-ray disc, I did think the 4K was slightly sharper but not as well defined when comparing to other 4Ks. It also doesn’t have the extra benefit of having either HDR or Dolby Vision.

AUDIO – 3¾/5

Both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray discs come with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which was perfectly serviceable, outputting clean dialogue showing that the production had some good sound design, and there was some very modest depth, the LFE channel kicking on a few times to add in foreboding mood and the like.


OVERALL – 2¾/5

Overall, The Tax Collector doesn’t really break new ground in any sense. It has a familiar story, basically The Godfather meets Sicario, and while Shia LaBeouf was great for the amount of screen time he has, to the point I wish the film was about his character, Bobby Soto has the look of a leading man, but lacked the charisma to carry a film. That said, the film does have its moments and it’s not at all awful, yet forgettable never-the-less.




The screen captures came from the Blu-ray copy and are here to add visuals to the review and do not represent the 4K video.

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