Monday, March 27, 2017

Film Review: The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: FandangoNow
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"It is a disappointing film, but it's not bad."

Working for both legitimate and criminal businesses, an account's life begins to unravel, which leads to violence and death...

The Accountant is a sloppy film. The plot follows Chris Wolff (Ben Affleck), an accountant with high-functioning autism. Wolff mainly works for criminal organizations around the world. However, this time around, he takes a job auditing a robotics corporation in search of embezzled money, which in-house accountant Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) first discovered. One thing leads to another, and Wolff becomes the target of a crew of assassins. That's pretty much your plot in layman terms. It also frequently jumps to the past to explain Wolff's upbringing. There's also an entire subplot concerning the Treasury Department's investigation on Wolff, which I thought was completely useless. It leads to an action-packed climax with some of the most obvious and unnecessary twists I've ever seen in any movie.
There are a few things I liked about The Accountant. I think Chris Wolff is an interesting character—I liked him. The action sequences were also balanced and entertaining. This isn't an action-packed blockbuster, it's more like a slow-burn thriller—and it works. This won't match series like Bourne or The Raid, but it's not bad. I also liked most of the first half of the film. It showed a lot of promise. Hell, althought it was inconsistent, I even liked the flashbacks. Everything else about The Account lacks... balance. Chris Wolff is a well-crafted character while the rest of the characters are just talking cardboard cutouts—especially during the second half. It's one thing to have the flashbacks cutting the flow of the film, but then you have the entire Treasury Department subplot. I thought this subplot was absolutely useless. It serves as nothing but blatant exposition. None of that resonated. And, of course, you have the 'twists.' Again, it didn't resonate.

The performances fared a little better. Ben Affleck is improving with each role. I know, I know, he's not perfect. However, I think this role fit him. At least, it didn't force him to get emotional, so it kind of worked. Anna Kendrick plays the awkward 'quirky' character she usually plays—and it was okay. The film was shot well and the music matched the tone of the film. It's technically a solid film. The film was written by Bill Dubuque and directed by Gavin O'Connor. The writing needed a lot of fine-tuning. There is too much fat in this film. The ending also needed to be reconsidered. Not only were the twists obvious, they were also ineffective. O'Connor fares better as the director, creating a solid paced action-thriller. Yes, the film has some slow moments due to some useless scenes, but O'Connor was able to keep my attention.

Overall, The Accountant was a good movie. It is a disappointing film, but it's not bad. It's technically a well-made movie. The solid direction makes up for the plot's many shortcomings. If you're a fan of the genre, this is at least worth a rental.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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