Ben Affleck as an autistic accountant who also happens to be freakishly good at assassinating his targets? Sure, why not. Sounds like Rain Man if he was a hitman. Let’s break down The Accountant.
The Accountant is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff, a small town accountant who suffers from a rare case of autism that makes him incredibly good at cracking numbers for dangerous criminal organizations as well as having a vase move set to kick loads of ass.
And that’s just the skinny. There’s a whole bunch of other underlying subplots this film tackled but honestly, I don’t want to write it all out. Not because I’m lazy, it’s because these subplots just do not matter in the long run.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the positives of the film like we always do.
Ben Affleck absolutely owns this role. This is definitely one of Affleck’s more subdued performances, he’s very soft spoken, but interesting enough to keep you invested in him. He’s socially awkward, he genuinely has trouble interacting with people because his mind is just on a whole ‘nother level than a normal person. You can tell though that Affleck’s character wants to interact normally with someone like Anna Kendrick‘s character, but it’s just difficult for him. As someone who’s had experience interacting with mentally challenged individuals, I really appreciated this film’s realistic portrayal of them.
J.K. Simmons also has a very strong showing here as the director of financial crimes for the Treasury Department. Jon Bernthal, as per usual, is great in whatever he’s in nowadays from Walking Dead to Daredevil, the guy can put on a performance. Overall, a really strong cast behind this movie.
The action is very fast-paced and very well shot, it’s incredibly fun to watch. Affleck does most of the ass-kicking in this film and he brings the fight. I keep wanting to say he has a very particular set of skills and I keep thinking of Liam Neeson in Taken. I don’t want to make that comparison, but that’s basically what Affleck is in this movie. That’s not discredit though because an ass-kicking Affleck, is still real good stuff to watch.
Now as I alluded to this earlier, this movie juggles just a few too many subplots for its own good. The film doesn’t feel as focused as it should be on Affleck’s story arc throughout the run time. Speaking of its run time, I think some scenes could’ve been cut or condense to make the film a little more tightly constructed in the end. This point bleeds into the multiple subplots of the film because towards the end, they really don’t matter. In fact, at times this movie felt like two different shows. It feels somewhat scattered brained.
However, I will give the director the benefit of the doubt though. The reason I believe some scenes could’ve been condense is because this film is slow. Not slow-paced, but it takes the time to really flesh out its characters and understand them. Though some scenes were slow, they were necessary to actually care and sympathize with someone like Affleck’s character. So in good conscience, I can’t say that this is a true negative just because the director tried out a different kind of narrative.
In the end, I believe The Accountant will be a bit of a acquired taste for most audiences. You might like it, you might not. For me, I came out of the theater still thoroughly entertained. The performances and the action are enough keep anyone invested, as long as you can accept the time it takes to let the movie’s plot gradually pick up at its own pace… If that makes any sense, that’s the best way I can put it.
I’m going to give The Accountant a solid “B” on the movie grading scale. This is definitely one of the more difficult movies to talk about this year, but I think if you’re willingly to let the movie play out as it is, you can find enjoyment in it in the end.
As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.