Nobody knows how to make a consistent gritty street drama like David Ayer. Ayer is known for making films such as Harsh Times, End of Watch, Street Kings and Fury, with his arguably biggest writing credit going to Training Day.
I’ve always enjoyed Ayer’s films to varying degrees, because of his ability to capture such tone and realism. His speciality is mean-spirited characters that are absolutely rotten to the core, usually surrounded by someone that’s not as ugly getting mixed up into something at the wrong time in the wrong place.
The Tax Collector doesn’t seem to be changing that rhythm, with Shia LaBeouf going into full-on insanity mode, while Bobby Soto appears to be the one with a heart.
I’m excited for several reasons:
Shia LaBeouf absolutely chewing up a role with no strings attached. LaBeouf has proven himself to be a force of nature when given the right material and based on his past work with Ayer; I fully believe this could be another instant-classic performance from LaBeouf.
David Ayer has kind of fumbled in other genres as of late, trying to go the DC route with Suicide Squad, which was mangled and not without its highlights, but mostly a disappointment and then that God awful Netflix movie Bright, which again tried meshing Ayer’s usual bag of tricks with….fantasy? Props to Ayer for trying to hit the ball in another direction, but maybe he should just stick with what he knows?
That leads me to think that The Tax Collector could be Ayer’s “return to form” and I certainly hope that it is, because when Ayer is on-point he can absolutely deliver in ways that other directors certainly can’t. But, when Ayer fails it can be a giant disappointment, with misfires going in every direction. The last true Ayer joint that I didn’t care for was Sabotage, but I have been meaning to revisit.
The Tax Collector opens in August. I am not sure if opens means a possible theatrical run or the VOD route, but I do know that a ticket/rental will be purchased by yours truly as soon as it’s available.