The Accountant – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

the-accountantThe Accountant – 3/5 –  Every once in a while; there is a chance that a movie stands beyond something more than it should.  For all the qualities that can make or break a film; there is that one important thing that makes everything worth it; the overall experience.  You know the flaws that litter throughout, but there is a simmer of enjoyment.  The Accountant is a film that has a lot of great acting and action; but does falter in a lot of the story development.  For all that could have brought the film down, there still is enough to enjoy.  The Accountant is a thriller that doesn’t quite hit the perfect mark, but it does enough to be good in an average tale.

Premise:  A man of many traits; he seeks to finish the job while also having the Treasury Department close in on him.  With all on the line, will this accountant be able to accomplish his task and get away in time.

In the main role of Christian Wolff is Ben Affleck.  This is a clear point to be made; if this man hadn’t been cast in this role; the rest of the film would have fallen apart.  For all that is subpar; Affleck as Wolff is something beyond masterful.  From the interactions with other characters, his facial dynamic and the overall emotional layering of being an autistic man; it is nothing short of amazement.  You feel the power of his presence, knowing that there is something mysterious and ironically innocent in the character.  From his decisive actions to his autistic behavior; you see the layers of heart, passion and flawed conviction.  That urge/edge of your seat kind of experience wouldn’t have occurred without the greatness of Affleck’s acting.  He is methodical in every word, and exudes greatness in all the delicate details he becomes a part of.  For the rest of the cast, you have:

Anna Kendrick as Dana Cummings

J.K. Simmons as Ray King

Jon Bernthal as Brax

Jeffrey Tambor as Francis Silverberg

John Lithgow as Lamar Black

These are the notable secondary characters to the story.  Overall, they do a great job in providing general conceptions of who, what and how their specific characters are important to the story.  For the most part, they don’t go beyond the ‘typical’ caricatures you find in this kind of action/thriller concept.   In a sense, it does wane on the experience of what is being portrayed.  At the same time, it is enough to create a realistic dynamic in what is going on in the film.  For that, it is above what you would expect from a ‘broaden’ detail; but doesn’t trail too far from being average at best.  For the rest of the cast not named, they fall into the ‘action/thriller’ archetypes.  They are nothing more than being ‘background color’ to the world around.

The direction of this film goes along a very methodical approach.  In that, you witness (in the first two acts), a layer upon layer revelation.  You get introduced to the main character; watching as each scene lifts a portion of who this person is.  Slowly (with a mixture of flashbacks); you become a part of his story, reasons and purpose of what he does in the film.  No matter what is explained, it is all very thorough and precise.  There is a sense that the exposition is a lot to bear witness too; but it isn’t something that becomes spoon fed like other action/thrillers.  They give you memories, expositional scenes and action moments at certain points that ‘create’ a dynamic of linking the past to the present.   This helps bridge something of a familiar touch for the audience; understanding the dire situation that Wolff gets involved in with a robotics company.  Outside of the layering that brings a connection for the audience, the realization that the story is predictable is an understatement.  Even with the highlights of the action scenes, tense ‘personality’ interactions and character development, the actual story is your typical ‘shady’ company making wrong moves; and an ‘unknown’ assassin coming to finish the job.  The basic concept has been used many times over in other action/thrillers.  Even so, the story never really rears its ugly head, and just becomes a portion of progress of the characters themselves.  Once you get through all the reveals, heavy expositional scenes and intense action; it becomes a very condense web of convenience.  What I mean is that the direction uses a very obvious gimmick to make everything work; by connecting all the characters together.  With the forced subplots added, this brings down the potential of the film.  As all comes together in the third action, what helps alleviate the obviousness is the delicate action, confrontations and the witty outcome of the final climactic situation.  Once the epilogue rolls the film to its conclusion, it is a ‘tap of the hat’ to the accountant.  It is one that lays out a concept of their being a return for sequels to come.

The visuals of the film play well with a very general/down to earth aspect.  There is nothing to create something beyond; just keeping to the realistic details of cities, suburbs and rural areas.  This allows for interactions and the action to take place as raw as it can be.  It gives the complexion of ‘in your face’ and ‘shock’ dynamic.  The score is very subtle throughout the experience.  It is there, but not worth noting as important.

The Accountant is an action/thriller that does a lot of great things with its main character and development; but doesn’t place anything in trying to create a decent story.  If you’re a fan of action/thrillers and Affleck, this is worth seeing.  I say go at a matinee; you will still have some fun at the theaters.

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