Two agents for a criminal syndicate face a precarious future when a newly returned competitor surfaces. Theirs is an impossible task - how to catch the crook, and where to turn to get their evidence before he strikes again. Will the agents ever find the evidence they seek to bust the criminals?
This thriller of international proportions is told through the viewpoints of the two tax collector's - Frank Ramello (John Candy), and Johnathan Gray (Peter Sellers). Frank has just been forced to resign, and Johnathan is in the middle of negotiating a deal with his partner in the Revenue.
The Tax Collector is a suspenseful, intelligent film that features one of the greatest performances by Peter Sellers. Peter Sellers plays the part of a man who wants to be good, and who finds himself trapped in the muck of a corrupt government. The two actors play against type; Sellers is a gruff, cynical man who enjoys taking risks, while Gray is a kind, gentle man with a soft spot for animals.
Garcia does an excellent job of combining the personal story of Frank Ramello with the global issue. The film uses the idea of crime syndicates and international relations in a way that is engaging and believable. This is a great example of using an interesting plot point to make a more compelling story. You can tell that the writer knew what he was doing here, and the acting is impeccable. I especially like how Garcia switches between the viewpoints, so that you don't get bored with one or the other.
Garcia doesn't pull any punches, either. While the dialogue is often over the top, the tone is very serious, and the movie never deviates from the message that the characters are trying to communicate. This is a great way to make a point about human nature and its corruption - the Tax Collector is an agent of justice, but he is also a pawn in a much larger game.
Garcia does a fantastic job of creating an atmosphere that resembles an old western movie. The main set pieces, including the auction and the courthouse scene, are spectacular. This film is entertaining, well directed, and suspenseful.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, The Tax Collector is another terrific Garcia film, which is why it's such a favorite among film critics. If you haven't seen it, you should go out and pick up a copy of this interesting film!
To conclude, I would recommend The Tax Collector if you enjoyed Garcia's earlier works. I'd even recommend this film for a first viewing. because it's such an original film, and it has a terrific cast and a great storyline.