An exceptionally well put together thriller!
A Government Treasury Director hunts down a mysterious hitman known only as The Accountant, who has worked for numerous dangerous groups and mafia across the world to cover up their financial dealings.
Ben Affleck is certainly good at picking his roles. From Gone Girl to Argo, he often plays quiet, reserved or uneasy characters (even is portrayal of Batman was grim and brooding) and here isn’t far different. He plays Christian Wolff, aka The Accountant. A quiet, introverted man with autism who is incredible, supernaturally so, with numbers and finances… who is also trained to be a merciless killer and has worked for international organisations.
Now that sounds a little ridiculous, and it kind of is. You could say the premise is “cartoonish” but this film isn’t trying to be anything “realistic”. This is just a well crafted, well acted and unique film experience; not based off a book, not a sequel, not a remake, not based off true events. Its been a while since a good action film like that has come around.
The film’s design isn’t just The Accountant in name only, in fact it is kind of slow paced at first. Chris is moonlighting as an accountant and as such he does just that, crunch numbers and help people. But his awkwardness and often blunt agreement lends for a pretty good comedic edge to proceedings, he is likable and his interactions with people is very enjoyable, especially his antics with two elderly customers.
But the grim underbelly of the film shows itself more and more, excellently told with foreshadowing and bleak, intense flashbacks that lends to great pacing. We see Chris and how he lives; recluse and locked away, forcing himself to listen to extremely loud music and noise with strobe lights blaring (not a film for people with a sensitivity to flashing lights!) and we slowly learn what exactly he is capable of.
With the ramping tension, the film quickly becomes something less like Rain Man and more like Bourne, and boy does director Gavin O’Connor (director of exceptional kick-boxing film Warrior) show his skills with run-and-gun action. I dare say, this was more intense than this year’s Jason Bourne. The lethal precision displayed and merciless killing of enemies is staggering.
I struggle to think of anything overly wrong with the movie. Some of the foreshadowing is a little clunky and transparent (you’ll piece things together long before it is revealed) but for the most part it is well crafted, and I hate to say it but Anna Kendrick’s character felt a little directionless. While she does fend for herself in one scene and she is meant to be a normal accountant (giving the stark contrast its due) and gives great reactions to Affleck’s straight-faced autism super soldier, she felt a little… damsel-esque.
For the majority though, The Accountant is a blast! Exceptionally well made, with a solid cast of Ben Affleck, J.K Simmons, John Lithgow and Jon Bernthal all delivering multi-layered performances.
A well rounded, all-bases covered action thriller. It will have you chuckling one second and on the edge of your seat the next; check it out if you haven’t already.