The Accountant (2016)

6:44 AM

Calculate Your Choices.
 The Accountant is directed by Gavin O'Connor (Warrior, Pride and Glory) and stars Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Argo), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods) and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Spider-Man). "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". Affleck's star truly is on the rise after stepping into mainstream spotlight as Batman, can his follow up impress the fans he gained?

This was a film that I actually didn't know too much about going in - whenever trailers were released for the film, I didn't watch them because the films title really didn't sell me and I thought it was going to be a dull drama about an accountant. However, the trailers have recently started to be played in front of films when I have gone to the cinema so I have had little choice but to watch them and I was intrigued. The funny thing is that what sold me on this film was Anna Kendrick starred in it - she is so likeable and I seem to like whatever she is in. Then reviews started to come out and they were mixed but some critics had really strong positive feelings about the film so when I saw it was previewing early before its UK release, I decided to go and watch it...and I am pleased I did because despite its flaws, The Accountant was a really fun and entertaining film!

The performances are strong across the board in this film. This is Ben Affleck's film though as he is playing such an interesting character and I think he does a good job of portraying said character. This performance isn't awards worthy but it is definitely strong and really does show Affleck has diversity - he can go from films like Argo to films like Gone Girl to Batman v Superman to this - all different characters that he does a really good job of portraying. I thought Affleck's character was tasteful and his portrayal of someone with autism was definitely done respectfully. Similarly to Emily Blunt's portrayal of an alcoholic, if this performance wasn't done well or respectfully, it could have made the character seem quite humourous which would have been in poor taste - thankfully, The Accountant stayed away from that. Even though Affleck gets the majority of the screen time, the supporting cast are all also strong. Even though it was hard to see Anna Kendrick and Affleck as love interests, their performances were convincing enough to make it work. Kendrick was also likeable once again and I think it was refreshing to see her in a more serious role. I also liked how Kendrick's character wasn't as much of a damsel in distress as she could have been - she put up a good fight when she was in threatening situations. Even though is role is small and his character is pretty pointless, J.K. Simmons also does a nice job but it was nothing that is going to blow you away like his performance in Whiplash. Overall, a well acted film.

My favourite scenes in this film were the action sequences - despite them being incredibly loud (I can't work out whether this was the film or the cinema screen), they were packed full of tension and excitement. They also kept the pace of the film quite fast - I couldn't believe how fast over 2 hours went by! The action sequences definitely showcased what Affleck had learnt from playing Batman as he shined in the fight scenes. One of my favourite moments was towards the end of the film where Affleck's character achieves the goal he set up early on in the film - SPOILERS - to shoot whoever wants to kill Dana (Kendrick) in the head. The timing of this moment was brilliant. I don't really know if this film is pro-guns as I did feel like they were a big part of the film and the fact an autistic person is able to get hold of so many guns was an interesting piece of social commentary - whether the film is pro or anti-gun, I'm still not sure. This is what Jason Bourne should have been - the action sequences in that were tedious but The Accountant gets it just right. 

Everything seems so positive right? I'm afraid where The Accountant slips up is the story and the horrendous amount of plot holes. I can't even summarise the plot of The Accountant as every film should have a goal and some development but this film is lacking that. I will say the character development was good even though it did easily reveal a twist that could have been executed better. As the audience, we are never made aware what Wolff's (Affleck) actual aims are and it is never clear what his actual job is. I don't really know how the film got from A to B and there were some sub-plots to do with the US government that didn't really tie in at all. The plot was just extremely muddled - at the surface it is easy to follow - some dialogue then an action sequence etc but really the plot should be clearer and the intentions of the protagonist should be easy to make out. Kendrick's character is also abandoned for a large chunk of the film - why was time wasted setting her character up if she would miss out 60% of the film? I have to say, the reason for the negative points of The Accountant are mostly down to Bill Dubuque - the film just isn't coherent at all. 

Ultimately, I was satisfied by The Accountant - going in having no expectations and actually finding a lot to like within the film was a pleasant surprise. I thought Affleck was very good and Kendrick did well supporting him, even though the film abandoned her for no reason. The actions sequences were loud, tense and exciting and really were the highlights of the film. However, The Accountant's story just doesn't add up and really is muddled up - it has no point, the intentions of the protagonist or antagonist aren't clear, there are unneeded subplots - I can see what the film was trying to do but it just failed. That being said, as a whole package, The Accountant is a film I had a good time watching it and I would actually recommend you see it. Definitely not a dull drama. 

65
/100

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