The Accountant: A Review


The Accountant is a 2016 actiion thriller directed by Gavin O’Connor, written by Bill Dubuque and stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow. It is a story about an accountant for the criminal underworld who also has autism.

To start with our lead actor i.e. the accountant, Ben Affleck plays a man who lives a day-to-day life with his condition very well. There are moments where some of his motivations and actions may not be consistent with the character that has been presented to the audience but they are still negligible in the grand scheme of things.  As seen in the trailer he may or may not also function as a killer. The B story of the film runs with high-ranking people in the Treasury Department trying to track down this mysterious man. The filmmaking on display here is gorgeous. There are a few very clever shots in use, the lighting, the camerawork, the tone and mood of the film are all extremely consistent throughout.

Director Gavin O’Connor who is coming off the hit film Warrior uses some similar themes in this movie as well. Some viewers who may remember Warrior can form a few links into those themes and how characters are built along those lines. The narrative style deserves a mention as well. It uses non-linear and parallel story telling techniques to keep the audience interested in the proceedings and not to bog them down too much with one side of a story. The way some very specific plot points unfold are very well done and they add on to the story and characters in a genuinely believable way which might be the biggest win on the part of the filmmakers.

The performances by Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and the entire supporting cast is as one would come to expect, nothing explosive but they are good enough to help carry the movie along. Jon Bernthal may be worthy of some recognition as he plays a genuinely menacing guy in a few scenes. On a personal note I like characters with morals as it infuses them with humanity and they don’t feel as if they are reading lines off a script.

The movie does not have flaws as such, it is technically good, the performances are all in their right places and it has a story which is compelling enough. But the reason it may not connect to an audience at a deeper level would be the fact that is only good enough and nothing more. The movie does have scenes of genuine tension, creative ways of showing autism and many other nuggets of intelligence. But the movie on a whole has nothing new to offer. It is a fun enough time at the movies for what it’s worth and it is a worthwhile spend of your money and time but going in expecting something more than a good efficient action thriller might leave the viewing audience disappointed.

It also has a small pet peeve of mine thrown into it where a good guy character has to be all the way good and no semblance of negativity can be had even though there is an option to put it in to create a fully rounded individual. On a whole the biggest point of appeal is Ben Affleck who puts his Batman training to good use and it is still a fun ride to watch his beat some guys and be his own breed of autistic superhero. If only the movie was as good as its trailer we may have had something truly special to watch this fall season.




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