The Accountant is about an accountant (duh), but not just any accountant. Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a "high-functioning autistic" accountant who finds where some of the world's most dangerous people have been leaking money, and why. If someone like... Pablo Escobar for example is losing millions 'off the top' with his employee's skimming money off him, he would hypothetically call in someone like Christian Wolff to find out where the leak is. As an autistic, though I really don't think he is, Christian struggles with his day-to-day life and has trouble socializing with others. When Christian Wolff is hired to find the leak in a new cybernetics company, and he makes progress, but he is let go before he can finish his work, which kicks his ocd up into high gear. Meanwhile Christian jeopardizes his entire livelihood when his cover is blown, only he goes back to rescue an accountant he's known for (maybe) two days, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick). Staying to 'finish' his job through to the bitter end. That ocd is some pretty powerful compulsion.
A lot of jokes have been made about how derivative this movie seems on its surface, but all without merit. Many comparisons have been made to Matt Damon's movies ie Jason Bourne and Good Will Hunting in particular. Plus Anna Kendrick recently starred in 'Mr Right', but that's a different situation entirely, complete with a tonal and contextual contrast to The Accountant. So The Accountant is its own movie. Similar to others, I'm sure, but unique enough to walk its own path. So I reject the claims of redundancy that have been thrown at it, but I still can't say that I actually enjoyed the movie.
The Accountant had its moments, absolutely, and Ben Affleck gives another wonderfully nuanced performance of a man struggling to control his demons. But the movie was full of unnecessary subplots. I think every supporting character got an expository monologue throughout the movie, and it sapped all the momentum and energy out of the movie. The pacing was extremely boring, mostly because the exposition just kept draggin' on. And what makes it even worse is with all that exposition, it was a paradoxically nebulous and deeply unfocused movie. Anna Kendrick didn't even need to be in it. The romantic subplot was awkward and unwelcome, absolutely predictable. Anna Kendrick was in the movie to be an exposition machine, for someone for Ben Affleck to throw all this information at ie the audience. That was her sole purpose. After Ben Affleck deciphers years and years worth of finances overnight, the writers need someone they can use for Ben to describe what the hell just happened, so in walks Anna Kendrick and Ben Affleck is suddenly all jittery with excitement when he could barely muster a single word throughout the rest of the movie.
I knew The Accountant wasn't going to be an "action-heavy" movie going in, I wasn't expecting it to be, but I was expecting there to be some smart and riveting action scenes every now and again. Wolff's infiltration of the mansion at the end could have been an amazing showcase of his abilities as some sort of super soldier and tactician utilizing some genius level strategies, but the action sequences were standard, most of the mercenaries just walked out to their deaths, a couple of smoke bombs here and there and that was it. Putting a few 50 Cal rounds through a house is cool and all, but I expected more from the action. The sound of the bullets was amazing though. Usually the sound of bullets have to be toned down for PG movies, believe it or not, but this was R and they were extremely loud. Sadly the execution of the action sequences was surprisingly nothing special.
All my big gripes were there when it comes to action. Quick cutaways, lots of editing, awkward framing and poor lighting to name a few, and it didn't have to be! It's rated R guys! There's no need for cutaways, there's no need for hyper-editing, there's no need to obscure most of the violence. Show us at least some of the violence. I took my father to go see this because I thought he'd like it. He likes financial movies and action movies, and the first thing he complained about was not being able to see any of the action. It was too quick and was in the dark too much. You could just chalk that one up to his old age, but I felt the same way. It was too quick, out of focus and too dark to fully appreciate.
I was expecting something of a cerebral action/thriller movie, but its parts really didn't add up, no pun intended. The Accountant is a movie with no core. Was it about an accountant? Sort of. Was it about a killer? Sort of? Was it about a romance? Sort of. Was it a procedural? Sort of. That's what I mean when I say it has no core. Ask yourself, or anyone else who's seen it what the core of the movie was about, and I bet you they'll struggle. If I were asked, I'd say it was about the challenges of autism. The accountant facade, the hitman facade, the romantic angle, the procedural angle were only there to highlight autism. I had heard that The Accountant was receiving mixed reviews on RT, but I didn't give it much thought, I rarely do, but when I got back I read one, only one, and it, again, mentions how serious Ben Affleck is, and mentions Batman v Superman, again! "Why can't Ben Affleck do a fun popcorn flick, and it not be anything more than that? Possibly because even when Affleck takes on 'fun' roles -- as with last summer's very un-fun Batman v Superman -- he does so with such gravitas and Actor-y seriousness that you can't help but suspect he's baiting accolades, adding that whiff of prestige to every movie, whether appropriate or not." This was from ET (here) Why are they so insistent on Ben Affleck doing fun popcorn roles? Can an actor no longer aspire to take his craft seriously in serious roles? Quick! Someone get DDL on the line, 'no more serious roles for you!'
There was some funny dry humor sprinkled in here too, so it wasn't as dour as some people have been saying. While The Accountant didn't "wow" me as much as I had hoped it would. It was still an interesting take that tread mostly new ground thematically, which is tough to do in the action genre. Alhough I still think that "Leon" has it beat in that department to be fair. The Accountant was thrilling and exciting in a very stop-start sort of way, and the screenplay was very imprecise in almost every way that mattered. It was also fairly anticlimactic. Enjoyable enough, but deeply flawed. I'll happily never watch it again, but be glad that I did, once.
Written by - The Sentry - 16/10/2016