The Accountant Review

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Ben Affleck has had quite a busy 2016. In addition to starring in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he’s also starring in Live By Night in which he stars and directs. However, in between suiting up as Batman and directing himself in a film, Affleck suits up in a suit and tie as The Accountant. Does Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant give Affleck another star vehicle or does it fail to live up to expectations?

Unfortunately, The Accountant may have looked good on paper, but ultimately, the film is a bloated film loaded with plot and backstory that doesn’t help the film in any substantive way.

The Accountant follows Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), an autistic mathematical wunderkind that also happens to be a killer. In order to hide his illegal activities, Wolff takes on a massive accounting project where he unwittingly gets caught up in a corporate conspiracy. As he tries to investigate who’s trying to kill Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), a government official (J.K. Simmons) and a young treasury agent (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is on the trail of a mysterious accountant.

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The simplest version of the plot works just fine for what it’s worth. Yet The Accountant wants so badly to play out like some mystery action thriller, but instead it’s a muddled slow burning mess that’s full of lengthy subplots. The film narrows its focus and splits the film into two distinct acts, meaning that certain characters introduced in the beginning of the film, won’t be extensively seen until the second half of the film.

That’s just one of the problems plaguing The Accountant. The other issue involves the lack of suspense with the way that the film unfolds. There’s a dismissive quality when it comes to The Accountant‘s major plot revelations. These twists aren’t the typical mind-blowing key points of a film but more of a segue into the next part of the film. In addition, the film’s twists aren’t as impactful because The Accountant is highly predictable too. If you’re perceptive enough, you can clearly figure out what’s going to happen long before it actually happens.

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But despite these issues, The Accountant is able to overcome them with its well-rounded cast. In between suiting up as The Dark Knight and directing himself in his own acclaimed films, Affleck is able to portray Christian Wolff as a mix of A Beautiful Mind and John Wick. He’s able to keep his autistic ticks and quirks to a minimum, but in exchange, he is devoid of his typical Bostonian charm. His blunt truthfulness provides laughs at times and his action set pieces are over before you know it. Don’t let the ads fool you, the film features a lot more of Christian the deadpan accountant than Christian the stone-cold killer.

On the bright side, Anna Kendrick is her usual charming, infectious self. As per usual, you can’t help but fall for her. Meanwhile, Jon Bernthal is able to play the perfect foil to Ben Affleck’s Christian Wolff. Bernthal’s character flaunts his swagger around and is able to talk the talk. He’s pretty much the swaggy version of Frank Castle. J.K. Simmons’s cool and calm as always while Cynthia Addai-Robinson and Jeffrey Tambor provide strong backup support.

Overall, The Accountant is a standard action thriller with a solid cast that gave good performances. Unfortunately, the subplot-heavy script bit off more than it can chew and consistently kills momentum right as it starts picking up. That doesn’t necessarily make it a bad film, but the premise of what the film could’ve been is much more compelling.

Rating: 3/5 atoms
NR 3 Atoms - C

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1353 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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