The Accountant (2016) Review

Rating: B+

Gavin O’Connor is back in directing chair for The Accountant adding another strong movie to his filmography. The movie, surprisingly, does not concentrate on the action as much as it actually emphasises the drama/crime aspect of it, sometimes even providing us with a couple of funny moments as well. All in all – we are pulled into an interesting crime story that is full with compelling characters and great theatrical performances.

In a small-town CPA office, Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), who was diagnosed with autism as a child, works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With feeling that Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J. K. Simmons), is closing in on him, Christian takes on a legitimate client – Living Robotics – a robotics company who’s in-house accountant, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), has uncovered suspicious financial discrepancies involving millions of dollars. As Christian starts to get closer to the truth, he and Dana is targeted for assassination and Christian will do anything to protect them.

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With just seeing only one movie from Gavin O’Connor, that being 2011’s Warrior, I didn’t know what to expect from this director. Warrior was a full on drama with rich characters and everything that Gavin did was showcased wonderfully in it. And so here comes The Accountant. Don’t expect The Accountant to be a full action packed crime movie with car chases and a lot of explosions. Of course, it has its moments filled with some action and even though there were only a few, they were quite awesome when they happened. Seems like Gavin traded explosions for subtler shooting and few fighting scenes – which is not a bad thing in my opinion. We get a crime story that is full with dialogues and drama. The story concentrates more on the characters, so you get to know them better and try to understand why they are doing the things they are doing. Sometimes the story might feel little bit dragged out. The pacing of the movie was quite slow at the beginning, maybe just because I was expecting more action from the movie. But later on everything changed and the film gets you engaged. Also – I’m the kind of a person that likes to try finding some plot holes in movies and I can confidently say that The Accountant did everything right to answer all my questions, leaving nothing out. The tale was fully told with no plot holes.

The best part of the movie was Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Christian Wolff. We get a deep character, who we get to know more from the flashback scenes in the movie. When he was diagnosed with autism as a child, his father, who served in the military, started to raise him with pushing him to overcome the hardships inherent to his condition. And you know what that means? In movie cliché dictionary – he will be raised as a bad ass who can leave some body’s dead on the way home. Everything that Affleck does in the movie makes the character more alive and soulful. On the other hand – it was sad seeing that Gavin did not use Anna Kendrick’s character, Dana Cummings, that much. Trailer shows that she might have an important part in the movie, but we just get to see her in only 1/3 of the movie (or even less). Regarding her performance – I can’t say there was anything wrong or misplayed. As always, Anna Kendrick did some great acting. Her scenes were natural, especially when something funny happened. With all that said, I still feel robbed with the fact that we get to see so little of her in the film. Felt like her character was definitely important for Ben Affleck’s one, but in a weird way she was written off.

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I was surprised that The Accountant was funny. The movie is still an action/drama, but the writers did an amazing job with making us smile or even laugh once in a while. With its correct timing of the comedy, the story felt real and certainly not forced in any way. While the comedy part was great, the movie tried too hard on delivering a plot twist, which for me was quite predictable to say the least. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything. I wasn’t surprised by the surprises and I figured out already few things right at the start. But that didn’t make the movie worse, it still got me at the end (I did not see that coming).

All in all, the movie did everything right to show us a great crime/drama story. With skilful performances from the whole cast, especially Ben Affleck, we get to know each character that is essential to the story. Just with some slow pacing and lesser action then you might see in other action movies, you will still enjoy the whole ride of The Accountant. Expect more movies starring Ben Affleck because his career is really going to sky rocket after this role.

Running time: 128 minutes; Production companies: Electric City Entertainment, Advanced Uderwriting Concepts, RatPac Entertainment, Zero Gravity Management; Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures; Genre: Action, Crime, Drama;

Directed by: Gavin O’Connor; Produced by: Lynette Howell Taylor, Mark Williams; Written by: Bill Dubuque; Cinematography: Seamus McGarvey; Music: Mark Isham; Edited by: Richard Pearson; Budget: $44 million;

Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart, and many more.

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