The Accountant Review
Ben Affleck has had quite an up and down career since he arrived on the scene in the early ‘90s. He started out in a string of low level hits such as Dazed and Confused as well as Dogma. Good Will Hunting shot him a step further into Hollywood stardom as he won an Oscar for writing its screenplay. Although critically panned, Armageddon was a box office hit that convinced producers he was leading man material. In the 2000s, Affleck had an array of horrific misfires and box office bombs that made many question his overall acting ability as well as his decision-making when it came to scripts. However, Ben luckily caught a break with an award-worthy performance in Hollywoodland and then surprised everyone with his extremely impressive directorial skills in films like Gone Baby Gone, Argo, and The Town. Affleck won another Oscar for the movie Argo as a producer and nowadays is one of the most sought after filmmakers (acting and directing wise) in Hollywood.
The Accountant shows off the actor side of Ben and proves to be one of Affleck’s strongest showings to date. A unique story with layers upon layers, Affleck leads a cast that features Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow, Jon Bernthal and Jeffery Tambor. The Accountant combines the intelligence and complex financial lingo that made The Big Short a hit, with a dosage of Jason Bourne-esque action and suspense. Although it had some issues, The Accountant is still an entertaining and original feature, one that is needed more of in Hollywoodland (no pun intended).
Christian Wolff (Affleck) is an autistic man with an incredible gift for numbers and is overall very smart. At the same time, he is a highly trained capable fighter who sometimes has to get his hands dirty when he meets dangerous clients. Wolff is asked one day to look into the numbers for a robotics company and finds some irregularities. He meets a young woman named Dana (Kendrick) who also proves to be crucial in this assignment. As the two discover the truth behind the irregularities, a shady group of individuals begin to target them and things get hairy very fast. The movie also looks at the life of Wolff and how he became who he is when we first meet him.
The movie leaves plenty of room for a sequel or even a prequel of some kind. An issue which hindered the film to a degree was it had too many subplots. There were about three stories at once in the overall plot so it was not too concise and thus made it very easy for the story to get confusing, as did the complex financial lingo. Some viewers may not be confused, but others will most definitely have a hard time keeping up. Another issue was that bits of dialogue and elements of the story seemed rushed. It could have been paced a little better.
The action in here was very enjoyable and so was the acting. Ben Affleck gives arguably his most committed performance of his career. This was very different than anything he has done in the past. Audiences can tell he really put the work into creating this character: the mannerisms, awkward behavior and his lack of eye contact. He makes Christian Wolff seem very believable, and viewers feel for him. At the same time Affleck does what he has been able to do well his whole career: present himself as a serious presence to any person he acts off against or fights against in a movie. Anna Kendrick was pretty good, but she could have had a bit more screen time. On the other hand, Jon Bernthal made the most of his time and he gave a truly killer (no pun intended) performance as a sneaky and smart assassin who could seemingly match Wolff. Cynthia Addai-Robinson was very impressive here. Viewers knew from her role in Arrow that she had acting chops, but here she really portrays a well-rounded character with quite a past. J.K. Simmons was fantastic as well in here. There is surprisingly a really fascinating story behind Simmons’ character Ray King, and his voice and delivery of the character’s lines could really convince one that he is the right choice to play the next Commissioner Gordon. Seeing Simmons play another cop like this in a future flick would be amazing.
Director Gavin O’Conner reveals certain crucial elements in the film in a pretty distinct way and really brings the audience straight into the heart of our title character. However, he wasn’t completely perfect in his approach. The film also had very solid music along with solid editing.
Fans of Ben Affleck should definitely check this movie out.