Sunday, 6 November 2016

'The Accountant' Review

Ben Affleck's career is one of the most interesting in the film industry. From bursting onto the scene and winning an Academy Award for Best Screenplay for 'Good Will Hunting', Affleck seemed to be destined for greatness. A couple of stinkers later saw Affleck vilified, with his reputation taking a  beating. Going further ahead, Affleck seems to have everyone back on his side, with another Oscar win for 'Argo' and of course, now being the Batman. Up next for Affleck is 'The Accountant' and his run of form seems to have continued.

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is an autistic, math whizz who has been working as a freelance accountant for criminal organisations all over the world. Wolff takes on a job from a robotics company to take a look at their books. As he starts to discover what has happened to millions of lost dollars, he becomes a target and needs to take out whoever he must, to ensure his own safety.

The film creates an incredibly interesting character in Christian Wolff. Autism is something that people may be afraid to not only use in their film but even discuss in real life. The film shows this condition to help enhance Wolff, even making a big deal at how, although he is different, he is very gifted. Wolff shows incredible intelligence and focus throughout the film, as well as showing conditions of autism throughout. The film nails some of the aspects such as struggling in social situations and with some movements that he does without even thinking. Affleck does a great job playing this character as he continues to show that the days of 'Daredevil' and 'Gigli' are far behind him.

Wolff is made out to seem like some sort of superhero due to his incredible accuracy and deadliness when in combat. The story uses flashbacks to when he was a child that creates an origin story kind of feel. The story shows Wolff's mother leaving and then his father looking to expose him to all of his fears in order to make him better. This leads to some fairly effective scenes that show some of the harsh trials that Wolff and his younger brother had to go through. It felt like something that you would see in the first instalment of a superhero series and with Wolff's abilities, it seemed like that at times. However, this does impose a negative effect within the action scenes of the movie. The first piece of action we see is Wolff easily dispose of two trained hitmen and then again takes out another 4 or 5 when saving Anna Kendrick's character Dana. We don't see Wolff break sweat or struggle at all, making the action very predictable. Although it is filmed very well, it doesn't seem as if there are any stakes as we know Wolff will easily come out on top, like he does each and every time. 

The most enjoyable part of this film seemed to be whenever Affleck and co-star Anna Kendrick were together in scenes. The two play completely different characters- Affleck emotionless, blunt and quiet; whilst Kendrick is upbeat and talkative. There is great chemistry between the two as they bounce off one another which works very well throughout the film, bringing some comedy to the film as well. The casting seems perfect as Affleck is great at playing the emotionless Wolff. It also seems very likely that if you needed someone likeable to bring someone out of their shell, someone like Anna Kendrick would be more than capable of doing so. Kendrick is then taken out of the film until the end and her absence is notable. Kendrick brings a real personality to the film and is a good contrast to everyone being so gloom.

As we move on from Affleck and Kendrick's relationship, we are soon accompanied by J.K Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson in a deep monologue and this is where I felt the film was at its weakest. The film really slows down as Simmons tells Addai-Robinson of his past experience with Wolff. It doesn't really add anything to the current story and takes up a fair chunk of time. This also takes us away from Wolff being on the run from those who want to take him out. It felt oddly placed as the film started to go down the action route but seemed to completely halt this. Simmons does show his acting chops throughout this, but it did seem to kill some of the films momenta.

Overall, 'The Accountant' is a very interesting film with some great performances. Affleck is fantastic as are co-stars Anna Kendrick and J.K Simmons. The film does well with its action but can be accused of being very predictable as the film goes on. The film does really slow down as well at points which really does hinder the film. An entertaining watch nonetheless.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'The Accountant'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the film. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor