| As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
I am baffled on why critics were so hard on this movie. I think the film itself is actually pretty great. It’s presented in a very interesting way, and the story manages to pace itself extremely well. Despite being over 2 hours, I thought it could have been a tiny bit longer. Looking back on it I think there was more here that could have been explored and developed, but regardless, it’s an engaging and well-presented story that I really enjoyed seeing.
The way Gavin O’Connor plays with the scenes, both present day and flashbacks, is pretty great. And when the film comes to a close, there truly is a lot of closure on some of the, at the time, head scratching scenes. Your attention was kept the entire time as you watched the plot unfold, the action which was exceptional and the chemistry between all the characters. The action is well choreographed and shot, with very limited use of shaky cam and the film overall is shot well. O’Connor opts for more slow and methodical camera movements, and those certainly service the story.
Hollywood hasn’t exactly had a stellar track record when it comes to giving autistic characters moments in the limelight, even when they’re being portrayed with a modicum of sympathy or humanity. This movie takes you into how the label of autistic can either weaken you or make you focus on how gifted you actually are when you are able to apply yourself toward tasks. The Accountant does a good job differentiating between the attributes of Chris’s disorder with the skills he has ascertained through years of tutelage from his roughneck father. As exploitative as the film could have been, I give props to writer Bill Dubuque for not making our entrenched protagonist an autism powered super assassin but rather a gifted assassin who also processes the world differently.
“Your son is different. Sooner or later, different scares people.”
Ben Affleck did an on point job as he played the Accountant. He had the lack of personality, the tenacious behavior of wanting to stay focused on his work and the disappointment of not completing his task down to the core. The young Christopher was spot on and believable as well. Anna Kendrick is also terrific, the only shame in her performance is that there is not enough of it. She is scattered into the movie but ultimately is pushed into a very supporting role. Jon Bernthal gets saddled with the difficult task of trying to make the most of his time on screen, but also staying mysterious and in the dark.
So from the loveable character portrayed by Anna Kendrick, to the sneaky performance of Jon Bernthal, there are some terrific performances to admire here. One of the best moments of this film involves a conversation outside on a bench between Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick. Their chemistry was offbeat and weird, and I loved every second of it. This is easily the films strongest aspect. Without the stellar cast, even including the small portion that J.K. Simmons was in, this film would not have been as enjoyable as it ended up being.
I have but one complaint with this movie, but it’s more something that gives me mixed feelings about it. The twist ending is, while unexpected, cliché. However, it’s a cliché that isn’t really used anymore so it isn’t predictable, but it’s kind of just an old twist. It was pretty far fetched as well, but the movie was self-aware at this point and made a joke about it, so that was at least a redeeming quality. It’s a flaw that the more I think about it the more I find myself actually kind of liking it.
Overall, The Accountant is a great film. I would definitely recommend this film to most audience members, but I would place an asterisk on the fact that it really isn’t an action/thriller like the trailers suggest. It is a very slow moving film that relies on its payoff. And if it wants to follow up that slight wink at the end for a sequel or franchise, I would not complain.