|Ben Affleck picks a face in, The Accountant|
"Your son is different. Sooner or later, different scares people."Say what you will about Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland), but the man has improved on his acting skills, and has even established himself as a top tier director over the years (The Town, Argo). His buddy Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) has usually hogged the spotlight, while Ben has been deflecting criticisms over his personal relationships and shitty movie choices since the early 2000's (Pearl Harbor, Paycheck). Maybe he just needs a love guru and a better agent? Whatever it is, it's hard to take any of the knocks on him seriously these days, especially since he's won another Oscar recently and his Bruce Wayne was obviously the best thing in Batman v Superman. Also, I haven't seen the sides of his mouth fill up with spit every time he gets emotional lately, like in the past (yeah, I noticed). It looked like a shiny spiderweb attacked his gums. Damn, now I'm criticizing him too!
They (critics) couldn't be more wrong. This picture is a surprise in many regards. First off, every predictable theme that rears its ugly head throughout the film's two hour plus run time, gets tossed aside for something that I didn't expect. The little touches of humor, makes the characters and scenes more relatable. The drama is solid, though never so harsh as to try to be more than it is.
The way that the story is told, is like a big puzzle that only fully makes sense when you near the end. The flashbacks are quick and to the point, which helps the plot without holding it back. Like everything else, there are moments of action that are so well crafted in precision, that the quality of it reminded me of John Wick (2014).
Affleck plays the role of a functional man with autism, like an actor who did his research before assuming the character. The emotional ticks and obsessive compulsive routines that he goes through, reveals a person with a daily struggle to stay in control. Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) comes in about a third of the way into the film, and takes the place of not really a love interest, but more like an understanding companion to Affleck that opens up his character's humanity and hidden sense of humor.
Their relationship is awkwardly welcome at first, then comfortably fits. J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow) as treasury agents in search of Affleck, are similar in relation to how Affleck and his father (Robert C. Trevelier, Prisoners) are with each other. Simmons is the hard ass mentor, and Addai-Robinson is the slightly damaged pupil. Short appearances from Jean Smart (Fargo: The Series), John Lithgow (Cliffhanger), and Jeffrey Tambor (Hellboy), are as good as they always are, especially Tambor. Besides Affleck, The Accountant's biggest asset has to be with Jon Bernthal (Daredevil on NetFlix). Every time I see this guy, he only gets better. As a hit man who crosses paths with Affleck, Bernthal relishes in his role and steals every scene.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of The AccountantThe Good- Affleck's subtle tax advice to an elderly couple, the attack on the farm, Bernthal's auto intimidation, the Bourne style apartment fight, Lamar's protection team gets deducted, and the final puzzle piece is solved with a "voice".
The Bad- A few conveniences of plot temporarily distract.
The Ugly- The critics are calling this movie a cheap attempt at creating a hero for autistics. Shut up.
Final ThoughtsThe Accountant is an entertaining action drama with just enough heart and brains, to make it a memorable thrill ride. See this in theaters and ignore what the critics are saying about it. Since they saw it for free, they're probably pissed that they can't claim this as an itemized deduction (tax lingo).
Rating- 8 out of 10
The Accountant (2016)
R | 2h 8min | Action, Crime, Drama | 14 October 2016 (USA)
As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Writer: Bill Dubuque
Stars: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons