Director: Gavin O’ Connor
Writer: Bill Dubuque
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Berthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson
For a film that came out around the opening of Oscar season, it overall did fairly well in its execution of the plot. It was an interesting one by the trailers, however the acting and character development certainly outranked the plot by a long shot.
Violent Content: Gun violence, hand-to-hand combat, and torture appear quite often.
Language/Crude Humor: While language, it is as much as one would come to expect for an R-rated film. That being said, there are moments of God’s name being taken in vain, s*** and f*** come up.
Sexual Content: None.
Drug/Alcohol Content: Alcohol is consumed but nothing beyond that.
Spiritual Content: None.
Negative Content: Violence, corruption, murder, and nearly all of the above take place. While it was an interesting film, it is not suitable for families.
Positive Content: Moments of redemption and clarity for individual main characters.
Behind the cover of a small accounting office, Christian Wolfe (Ben Affleck) is a freelance accountant as he cooks the books for some of the most dangerous people in the world. As the Treasury Department begins to pick up his trail, Christian unravels a cover up involving millions of dollars through one of his clients that involves accountant clerk Dana (Anna Kendrick). As they continue towards the truth, they slowly become closed in by armed forces and the U.S. Treasury.
Due to Ben Affleck’s dedication in his portrayal of Christian Wolfe, an autistic with strong intelligence, The Accountant certainly lives up to the name throughout the film. This is more than him simply putting numbers together, but how he lives out his everyday life from having breakfast to his military training. It only adds to the character when his past was revealed where he greatly struggled with Autism while maintaining the relationship with his brother and strict military father.
Anna Kendrick contributes as her character portrayal is more on the humane side as she represents how people would respond to someone with autism and would react to certain situations. While the chemistry between her and Christian contains zero love interest, their bond stands out significantly as they both work together in unveiling the scandal cover up. One could say that she represents the only genuinely humane person throughout the film where audiences can connect and relate to her on a basic level. The downside to her character is that towards the halfway mark of the film, she fades out until later on, leaving audiences questioning what became of the character. Not a smart move on the writer’s part.
While their relationship is not seen as much on camera, J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Robinson’s characters have a little bit to show in their work to hunt down the man known as The Accountant, which plays a vital role as the film plays out. One mysterious and intriguing character is played by Jon Berthal, a hired mercenary with his own team. While his role is certainly short, Berthal pulls off the character very well due to his recent role as the Punisher in season two of Daredevil and season one and two of The Walking Dead. As the film continues, so does the importance of his role in relation to the hunt of the Accountant and the money scandal.
Of course, a film with a title like this will involve numbers. It was difficult to follow along at certain key points that connected the dots due to the overload of financial talk between Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick. Audience members may feel lost at certain points due to the this situation, however, that is easily made up by the action. The gun battles and fist fights between characters stand out significantly as both entertaining and gruesome to certain extents. Due to his intellect and military training, Christian Wolfe cuts through hired assassin’s to the point where they do not stand a chance, allowing Affleck’s character to outshine the co-starring cast. To capture such scenes, the camera work does a great job at single shots and panning rather than shaky camera’s or unnecessary close-ups, making it easier to follow.
While the foundation and the climax stand out positively, the last forty-five minutes leaves a rather cliché conclusion that in its own way, became a let down nearly predictable once viewers connected the dots. As if that was not enough, it becomes difficult to put the pieces together when more is revealed in just the last ten minutes, leaving audiences scratching their heads as to what becomes of certain characters and connections.
While the action, character development, and built-up are strong, the execution of the end result leaves audience questioning for more, and not in a good way. Overall, The Accountant remains interesting and entertaining only to certain extents, making the film worth the watch only once.
+ Intense Action + Character Development
+ Slow down of plot + Predictable twist + Confusing plot
The Bottom Line
While The Accountant was interesting and mostly due to its main cast, it falls short towards the end of the film in its plot twist and resolution.