Edition: India  
 
> >

MOVIE REVIEW: The Accountant

One News Page Staff Tuesday, 15 November 2016
MOVIE REVIEW: The Accountantby

THE ACCOUNTANT

IMDb

Dir: Gavin O'Connor

Starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow

starstarstarstarstar    4 STARS (out of 5)

Action films come in three varieties – big and dumb, slow and overly-contrived, and genuinely thrilling. There’s been a fair share of all three modes in the past few years – London Has Fallen being a prime example of how to muddle big and dumb into brain-meltingly boring – and even after thirty to forty years, your staple action thriller templates are still movies such as your Die Hards, your Lethal Weapons and, of course, your James Bonds. The Accountant, on the face of things, doesn’t appear to want to be anything too special or too different from the norm – however, I feel it is worthy of far more praise than a lot of the criticism that it has been experiencing of late.

Ben Affleck is Christian Wolff, a brilliant accountant and mathematical genius who, at the same time, is deeply afflicted by high-functioning autism, having suffered as a child on the back of receiving little direct care. On top of this, he is no ordinary accountant (in the same way that Under Siege’s Ryback is ‘no ordinary chef’ and that Die Hard’s McClane is ‘no ordinary cop’) – he generally takes accountancy jobs on behalf of criminal gangs and cartels, makes stacks of money and art acquisitions, and as such ends up in some particularly grim scenarios – but on top of this, he is remarkable in sharpshooting and hand-to-hand combat. Essentially, he is both a calculator and a killing machine in one package, only hindered by his condition. Wolff decides to take a job with a robotics company, only to find that its dealings may not be as clear cut as they seem – and at the same time, an FBI financial crimes chief (Simmons) is keen to get the so-called ‘Accountant’ under lock and key for a number of crimes he has committed over the years.

The Accountant - Review

It’s remarkably more convoluted plot-wise than many may initially first assume, which is a minor setback for the movie as well as part of its appeal. This is a film which has divided critics straight down the middle since its release (it currently sits with a 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, just tipping into ‘rotten’ territory), and while I do understand that The Accountant has its plotting and pacing difficulties from time to time, it is constantly entertaining, and thrives on the brilliance of its acting personnel.

Ben Affleck is a revelation here. While his name may no longer be associated with groaners such as Gigli and more with films akin to the award-winning Argo (which he also directed), it’s still safe to say that he has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. A resoundingly effective Batman in DC’s recent re-imagining of the character, Affleck embodies a socially-awkward, mechanical, mathematical killing machine with gusto, offering an anti-hero who, while dubious in action and hard to connect with due to his social difficulties, genuinely grows on us as the film progresses. Wolff is refreshingly blunt, and entertainingly so – some critics claim that Affleck’s portrayal of such a character with high-functioning autism borders on exploitation, but I disagree – this is an incredible man with genuine talent, skills, flaws and desires, as well as his fair share of personal trauma, which all help to develop him into a truly three-dimensional character. We are given snapshots of his less-than easy childhood, and are given well-scattered insights into what really makes him tick – but never too much, and it is genuinely refreshing that Wolff is still very much Wolff the whole way through. He never changes entirely. He has some great moments with a number of characters that start to bring him out a little, but he always retreats – and best of all, he always delivers. He’s a great leading character.

This is a movie that genuinely delivers – there are contrivances in the plot and perhaps far too many twists and segues than could be considered wholly necessary, but it gives you payoffs, it gives you scattered moments of joy and is as thrilling as it needs to be. Kendrick and Simmons are ideally cast here despite Affleck largely taking the centre stage – as they offer characters that feel genuine and aren’t cut from the movie trope manual. The superb Jeffrey Tambor is unfortunately underused, but his role is essential to at least two of the main characters’ stories.

For the most part, it’s a movie that ‘shows’ as opposed to ‘tells’, and this is fantastic news. For the first two thirds, strands are set up and moments are seeded that we know we’ll return to at some point through visual cues and character behaviour – while the final third has some clunky exposition and big reveals that anyone savvy with the genre will have spotted coming a mile away, they are reveals that are immensely satisfying. I’m not afraid to say that this movie has one of my favourite endings of the year – it confirms everything you need to know, and may even open the door for more in future. Along the way, action scenes are generally as long as they need to be – Wolff is hideously overpowered, that’s kind of the point – but they’re nicely directed.

The Accountant - Official Trailer

The FBI subplot is rather underplayed and hastily resolved at the last minute – we are far more invested in Wolff, as it goes, but their relevance feels less and less important until we move into the last act. There is plenty going on otherwise – while it may flip-flop from timeline to timeline and from plot thread to plot thread, it does so without too much confusion and without holding your hand. I always gauge a movie on how quick I feel time passed while watching – and The Accountant, along with my recent viewing of Doctor Strange (which I have since seen again), has provided me with one of my quickest cinema experiences. Nothing drags, nothing stays too long – thrillers such as Midnight Special from earlier this year have a habit of wallowing in hesitant pacing and shrouded dialogue for the sake of it, whereas The Accountant generally keeps up with your interest.

If there’s one thing The Accountant isn’t, it’s boring – while it may not be breaking new ground in terms of storyline and while it may rest on a few clichés here and there (and it really, really ups the ante when it comes to product placement), it’s both intelligent enough and exciting enough to warrant any action thriller buff purchasing a ticket. As I fall on the side of the critical coin that praises The Accountant, I say give it a try, if only to see Ben Affleck shine as an ass-kicking, sharpshooting, mathematical autistic savant. If that description doesn’t whet your interest, it may not be your cup of tea.


9
shares
Share on
Facebook
Share on
Twitter
Post on 
Reddit
Share by
Email
 

You Might Like


Recent related news

Despicable Me 3 movie review: The Steve Carrell – Kristin Wiig starrer suffers from a hangover of its prequels

The Steve Carrell, Kristen Wiig starrer is cluttered and offers nothing new. Read our review.
Bollywood Life - India

Movie Review: Cars 3

It's best not to expect much from a series that barely delivers on the promise of being a fun animated movie.
IndiaTimes - EntertainmentAlso reported by •Reuters IndiaZee News

Super Singh Movie Review: Diljit Dosanjh, as Punjabi superhero, will take you on an absolutely hilarious ride

If you are a diehard Diljit Dosanjh fan and have loved his funny boy characters in Punjabi films released in the past few years, there is no point you should...
Bollywood Life - India

Review: Transformers Get Arthurian in ‘The Last Knight’

Mark Wahlberg is back in the latest “Transformers” movie, but it’s stolen by Anthony Hopkins and a grouchy C-3PO knockoff.
NYTimes.com - Front Page

'Cars 3' Review: Lightning McQueen's existential crisis becomes textbook 'feel good' movie

*Movie -* Cars 3 *Director -* Brian Fee  *Cast -* Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Karry...
DNA - Front Page

Phullu movie review: Sharib Hashmi teaches us about menstruation but the lesson gets boring

Phullu could have been a great film educating everyone about menstruation but faulty execution ruins it.
Bollywood Life - India


Other recent news in Entertainment

INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY: Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover show how it's done!Ranbir-Kapoor,-Katrina-Kaif,-Jagga-Jasoos @ 6/21/2017 9:30:00 AM
Katrina Kaif says she'll never work with RANBIR KAPOOR again, here's how he reacted!Oscar-winning actor DANIEL DAY LEWIS quits acting
SALMAN KHAN is fiercely loyal: Vikram PhadnisA reporter asked SALMAN Khan's 'Tubelight' co-star Matin Rey Tangu a racist question, here's what happened next!
Salman again shines at TIMES SQUARE with his 'Find Laxman's Brother' squadWatch JHMS song 'Radha': SHAH RUKH KHAN-Anushka Sharma's irresistible chemistry will make you drool!
Arjun Kanungo, Akasa Singh celebrate WORLD MUSIC DAYHAN SOLO 'Star Wars' movie loses its directors

Twitter

pic

ComedyNews The Movie Preview Review Eps 238 - The Accountant https://t.co/drVCLUInJn 15 hours ago

pic

The Best in Podcasts The Movie Preview Review Eps 238 - The Accountant https://t.co/HlqfowTNQ9 15 hours ago

pic

CrossNetflixStream #TheAccountant #moviereview - Watch it A concept that carries the movie #BenAffleck does a great job https://t.co/xHOPgGQ3gQ 23 hours ago

pic

Chicago Accountant RT @Loosetrigga: The accountant was the best movie Ive seen this year. Review coming soon... benaffleck #chicago… https://t.co/HBmVHjvyyi 1 day ago

pic

Fash Bashing Daddy @_brown_recluse_ this one really tears it to pieces. https://t.co/1ypvyEI6UA 2 days ago

pic

The Best in Podcasts The Movie Preview Review Eps 238 - The Accountant https://t.co/VLpHYgFcan 2 days ago

•More original news reports from newsR
Environmentally friendly: newsR is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2017 newsR / One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Content Accreditation
 RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |   LIKE us on Facebook   FOLLOW us on Twitter