This is a right old curate’s egg, so it is. But if you’re entertained by chase movies sprinkled with mystery, where there’s a high body count and you’re not one for detail, this could be popcorn and fizzy drink heaven.
Another big plus in this tale of a dodgy – and clearly autistic – accountant who’s more than handy with a weapon is that the cast is hugely impressive, which perhaps gives The Accountant more pre-screening weight than it deserves.
Ben Affleck leads the charge in the titular role of Christian Wolff, a mathematical genius with serious sociopathic tendencies. Behind the cover of a small-town office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organisations. We’re talking filthy money here.
On his trail is the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, led by Ray King (the great JK Simmons, who played Chief Pope in the criminally ignored TV show The Closer).
As King’s starting to close in on Wolff, the latter takes on a job at a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a substantial financial hole.
It all rolls along nicely, if a little unevenly in terms of plot development, while there’s a plot twist so obvious I was tempted to throw something at the screen when the reveal occurred in a ridiculously ham-fisted fashion.
On the plus side Affleck is hypnotically devoid of emotion, or even a facial expression, throughout the entire movie, while Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow all add their particular acting chops to the mix, which results in a rather bizarre movie that reeks franchise – if it can get its script and plot developments singing off the same rap sheet.
Maybe I’m looking for something that doesn’t need to be there. As a bang-bang movie, it’s a blast – but oddly unfulfilling. Like the best pop music, it seems to lack a depth it doesn’t require. Fun, though.
The Accountant Srt Sub Subtitle Download
The Accountant is the kind of film that hardly exists in the studio system anymore: Ostensibly for adults, the R-rated, plot-heavy thriller concerns serious themes involving serious people—it is not connected to a comic book, vampire novels, or a video game. When a movie like this somehow escapes the Hollywood boardroom, you can’t help but cheer, something original! Alas, when you realize The Accountant is a disjoined, confused, muddled mess, it sticks in one’s craw. This is why we can’t have nice things.
The Accountant follows Christian Wolff, a mild-minded accountant in suburban Chicago, who will turn out to be much more than meets the eye—he is played by Ben Affleck, after all. As it turns out, Christian runs the books for the world’s most hated dictators. He is also a skilled assassin, a collector of fine art and, oh yes, he has “high functioning autism.” (He also has plenty of time to work out: Christian is one jacked accountant.) A robotics company, seemingly unaware of his many talents, hires Christian to uncook its books, but when he and a plucky associate (Anna Kendrick) discover something they weren’t supposed to, they become the target of assassins. Christian has to figure out who’s trying to kill him, solve an ongoing family mystery, stay a step ahead of the feds, and make sure that his fork and knife are in the exact same spot while he’s eating. Office jobs can be exhausting.
Director Gavin O’Connor is a muscular, occasionally stirring filmmaker (Warrior, Miracle), specializing in mixing in the emotional with the brutal, but The Accountant’s messy conceit gets away from him quickly. (It’s the sort of film in which Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow show up for one scene, disappear for about 70 minutes, and then show up again, suddenly integral to the whole plot.) Everybody gets a long-winded backstory that stretches credibility, and the movie just piles on twist after twist until it has completely lost the thread.
At the heart of this nonsense is Christian, who is a nonsense character. After his mother leaves, his military father decides to turn his children into ruthless killers to make sure they aren’t picked on—what other option is there for a doting father? Christian blossoms into an obsessive-compulsive mathematician with countless aliases who runs from place to place, helping out dictators, aiding kindly farmers with their taxes, killing with dead-on aim of a sniper, falling in love, and keeping one eye on his fine art collection. He’s an accumulation of tics straining inside an Oxford button-down. (The film’s portrayal of autism is also oddly flippant, and it tries to turn into something uplifting in the final minutes, unconvincingly.) Affleck isn’t a bad actor necessarily; he’s smarter than he lets on, and at his best, he uses his inexpressiveness and lunkiness to his advantage. But even if you are playing an impassive character, you have to give us something beneath the surface, and Affleck is not an actor who is skilled at conveying a particularly complex inner life. Christian remains slack and dull—until, of course, the movie needs him to start kicking ass.
Nearly a dozen threads unravel in the last half hour; a scrambling, fevered multi-car pileup of plot. Christian helpfully turns into a combination of Batman and John Wick when the movie needs him to. It is possible I’m missing the point by complaining that Hollywood doesn’t make serious adult thrillers anymore. The problem is not that they choose to only make comic book movies, but rather its the only thing they know how to do anymore. The Accountant should be a straight-ahead thriller, but the film keeps tripping over its own incompetent feet. Maybe it was made for adults, but it sure doesn’t feel like it was made by them.
The Accountant (15, 128mins)
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Stars: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick
The titular character in The Accountant is not a nerdy bean counter but a hard-as-nails killer with military training played by Ben Affleck. Oh, and he’s a genius with numbers. It’s accountant as superhero.
Directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), this ill-computed action thriller is daft, laboured and over-complicated, containing as much back story as it does present day plot. Affleck is an accountant, Christian Wolff, who helps major crime syndicates launder their money but, at the same time, is a big softie with a strong moral code.
He’s also autistic, for no obvious reason.Yes. As somebody on the spectrum myself, I am pleased to see all the truths said about autism: this accountant is full of sensitivity, makes little eye contact, is blunt in conversation, has the utensils in his drawer arranged in a specific way, and is an expert at gun-aiming. Yet at the same time, he uses his skills in numbers and attention to upfront the law. He disproves his father’s fears that he would be taken advantage of by utilizing of his own skills as a means of acquiring money for himself, leading to intense killings of those who are far worse than he is. It’s addressed that he’s doing wrong in these acts, but is he ever punished for his crimes? Well, without giving anything away, no. He is not rightfully punished for his crimes.
The Accountant is of about the quality that I expected going into it, but not for the reasons that I expected. Here’s a drama/thriller that’s just flirting with annoying the audience given how fast its portrayal of an autistic individual could go south, but that’s actually not the issue. Of course the performances are strong across the board and there’s some pretty good filmmaking here from a technical perspective, but they aren’t enough to support the film’s convoluted and slightly overlong story. Christian Wolf (Ben Affleck) is a math savant that works as an accountant and makes a living by working with uncooking the books for criminal organizations. Having been brought up by his father to fight, Christian also functions as an assassin, and his latest task has him auditing a robotics company with Dana (Anna Kendrick), who has found inconsistencies in their financial records. Meanwhile, the Treasury Department is zeroing in on Christian, namely two agents played by J. K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson, the former of who is blackmailing the latter, or else he’ll reveal her past criminal activities that she’s been hiding. If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is a lot. I wasn’t expecting to have issues with the story here, but it’s definitely the weakest link. As for what does work, again, obviously the acting is strong. Supporting players such as John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor round out the cast and everyone onscreen does what’s asked of them at the very least. Affleck and Kendrick have solid chemistry, especially in the film’s quieter moments when the script depicts his character’s difficulty to interact and connect with other people. The script does a good job rounding out Christian as a man: his routines; his upbringing; his interests; and his tics (in more than one sense of the word) are conveyed well. Affleck plays it well and Kendrick is charismatic as always, although she is underused overall. The movie is directed by Gavin O’Connor, who gave us the solid Warrior back in 2011 as well as Jane Got a Gun earlier this year–the later of which I did not see but came and went within a week–and he gives the film a nice rhythm in the first act in addition to a good look. The pristine look of the film for most of it as well as the symmetry in shot composition helps the audience subtly see this world through the protagonist’s eyes: neat and efficiently. The Accountant is solid for the first half or so, but it never rises above that because the story is muddled in a way that prevents you from really understanding what’s going on and therefore hampering your enjoyment of it, but O’Connor and the cast keep things engaging. It’s after one really strong scene around the middle between Affleck and Kendrick that the script’s issues start to show themselves. The way in which things are revealed make the movie confusing and distancing and highlight the issues with the setup that the filmmakers managed to hide enough. It’s written by Bill Dubuque (The Judge) and it feels as if he had to shoehorn in some scenes in order to clarify what he originally intended. There’s a lengthy scene focusing on Simmons’s character that’s pure exposition, complete with both narration and a lot of telling the audience what’s happening and what led to what we saw. If the story were simpler, it could have weaved together its plot threads in a more effective manner and kept the consistency and pace that the beginning has. Some characters feel expendable or like plot points, and Dubuque needed to either trim the script down in order to keep it simple and fully cohesive or make it longer to flesh everything out more. He does a good job with dialogue and certain scenes, but the screenplay feels like it’s in a weird halfway spot–it’s either too long and could have been trimmed or it should have been expanded upon. What we’re left with doesn’t really work that well. The Accounting is middling for a reason that’s all too common. The script needed to be cleaned up beforehand, and although the director and cast can distract from the flaws, they can only do it for so long. This film has its assets, but they get drowned out in the classic “wait, what?” syndrome that it provokes. It isn’t quite sure if it wants to be fun or serious and these tones tend to bash heads. It’s sleek at times and decently entertaining for a while, but it all seems to unravel in the last hour or so, and not in a good way. 5.4/10, meh, C, below average, etc.