The Accountant (2016)
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, Cynthia Addai-Robinson
Directed by: Gavin O’Connor
Written by: Bill Dubuque
Rating: R Running Time: 2 hr. 8 min
I have to be honest, this film was a little hard to nail down at first. On the one hand, I enjoyed Ben Affleck’s performance and the premise pitting a high functioning math savant against corporate greed and their hired guns. On the other, I found the entire subplot concerning the activities of the Treasury Department a complete waste of valuable time.
There are multiple components to this story, some work, and others do not. The family back story providing context for our protagonist, works really well. The quasi love interest angle between Affleck and Kendrick on the other hand, not so much. The aforementioned Treasury Department plot also serves no real purpose other than to maybe start ‘world building’ just in case this film becomes a series.
For the most part I would say I was entertained, but also a little frustrated as the components of a truly great film were interspersed with pointless subplots and extraneous characters. If The Accountant had simply focused on the central character’s life and family history, and applied that to the corporate greed plot, we’d be looking at one of the best thrillers of the year. But presented as is, we’re left with a mildly amusing diversion that delivers a few thrills, the odd bit of decent humor, and some really poorly filmed action sequences.
If you suffer from PSE (Photosensitive Epilepsy), there are couple of scenes you need to be careful of. Ben Affleck’s character, Christian Wolff, manages his condition with sessions of loud heavy metal music, strobe lights and the painful application of a metal bar against his shin. These scenes were visually jarring and very difficult to watch. Other than that, expect a film that doesn’t quite reach John Wick level action quality, and a plot with a few too many layers.
Ben Affleck. He’s the single best reason to see this film.