A poorly paced and poorly received crime thriller, The Tax Collector manages to lose much of its audience by the end of its rather brief run on television. With some good acting from the likes of Michael Parks and an all too understated script by David Koepp, this is a film that simply doesn't live up to its promise.
If you've been a fan of television in the past then you've probably already seen The Tax Collector before - the serie that was. However, if you haven't you may be better off going into the theater than watching it. Despite its underwhelming plot and uninspiring acting, The Tax Collector does have one major advantage over any other version: the fact that it was released as part of a series.
While there is a lot of controversy surrounding the entire series and most people are at least somewhat familiar with the story, the true intrigue of the TV show is centered around the character of Frank Coughlin, who commands the respect of all of his fellow cops, both male and female. This is in stark contrast to the character of Tony Soprano, who has no standing among his colleagues.
This is a big reason why The Tax Collector failed to hold viewers' attention. When a show attempts to be two different things at once, it generally fails. The only thing that makes The Tax Collector unique is its relationship with the entire series and all of the characters from before and after.
As the final episode of the series approaches, you can already see how the relationship between The Tax Collector and Tony Soprano will affect their relationship with one another down the line. While there is some excellent acting in the pilot, it's clear that the series would have benefited from more of the same with the addition of more female roles (such as Carmela Soprano), something that many people seem to miss. This is a mistake that The Collector unfortunately makes.
Overall, The Collector may have been a bad film with an all too underdeveloped plot. If you really want to catch a good piece of television though, it may be worth the gamble of watching it as part of a series.
If you're looking for a quality drama that may give you the feel of being a cop on the force but with a lot less violence or profanity, The Tax Collector is a great choice. It's also one of the only TV shows in recent history to feature a female police officer and her partner, making it a truly intriguing addition to your TV collection.
With the original show is ending soon, I expect The Tax Collector to make a return to TV sometime soon. Until then though, you'll have to settle for the rest of the series on DVD. to watch.