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Review: The Accountant

Ben Affleck stars in Warner Bros. Pictures' THE ACCOUNTANT

Out of all of the major studios out there, Warner Bros. is one of the very few that ventures out and takes risks with projects that are at least somewhat abnormal when compared to the average major Hollywood flick. From the looks of it, The Accountant seems to be one of those unusual features. It also appears to be one of those movies that hopes to maintain some level of familiarity. That proves to be a risky thing to try here as we get some quality features to go along with some less than stellar ones.

Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, an extremely organized math savant at the center of this tale of violence, deception and intrigue. On the surface, he appears to be a mild-mannered freelance accountant, but he’s actually someone who handles dealings of some of the deadliest of criminals. Things have been running smoothly, but that’s about to change as the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division is getting closer and closer to him every second.

There’s some cheesiness to Affleck’s character in this movie. I wish he would have been played as more of a real person dealing with the troubles that have plagued him since childhood. At certain points, he’s turns out to be more superhuman than human. This is the kind of movie that doesn’t really require that. Playing him more true to life may have helped in making his character more believable and relatable even with such an uncommon scenario at play.

The major twist that’s introduced in The Accountant also kind of dampens the picture’s standing a bit by moving things into an area that’s not incredibly plausible. You will see it coming if you pay any kind of attention, but that’s not the issue that I have with it. In a film with this many characters who are this important to a unique situation, this added surprise is too symmetrical and too convenient for it to be considered possible. In my opinion, taking this completely out would have allowed me to enjoy it more.

What I dislike more than anything else about The Accountant is its length. It’s only a little over two hours, but it’s really hard to explain why it had to last as long as it does. There are a few scenes that just linger on a bit longer than they have to. There are also some scenes that should have been cut out all together. Cutting some scenes short or all together in some cases could have gone far in making this much better. I could have even forgiven some of the other things that I complained about.

While those negatives are a detriment to the picture’s overall standing, the action in The Accountant does make up for it to some degree. What we witness with these portions of the movie is something that we’re used to seeing these days, and that’s a good thing. The only trouble with the action is that there isn’t enough of it. It’s important to build other aspects of a film, but this one could have used more fighting and shooting and a bit less dialogue. Then again, maybe cutting out some of those scenes could have assisted by getting us to these action scenes faster.

Something else that works aside from the action are the flashback scenes. In some instances, the scenes that harken back to the past can take up time and distract from the film. In The Accountant, it helps in turning this into an adequate experience. Instead of disrupting its flow, the flashbacks are properly and effectively utilized to build the main story while also giving us a chance to understand some of the characters who are most crucial to the movie and its plot.

When looking at this one in its totality, I can understand why some people may not like what they see. If you’re not into the action as much as I am, it’s a movie that may have a difficult time getting you excited over the course of its duration. There are some entertaining things taking place in The Accountant, but it also clearly lacks in some areas. From my perspective, simply eliminating the unnecessary twist and scenes would have improved it drastically. Doing that would have more than likely made it something that’s easy to recommend to everyone who enjoys some action.

Rating: R

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Ben Affleck
Anna Kendrick
J.K. Simmons
Jon Bernthal
Jean Smart
Cynthia Addai-Robinson
Jeffrey Tambor
John Lithgow

Film Length: 128 minutes

Release Date: October 14, 2016

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Score - 6/10
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