Ricky's Film Reviews

Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases

The Accountant

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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.

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Cast

Ben Affleck – Christian Wolff

Anna Kendrick – Dana Cummings

J.K. Simmons – Director Raymond King

Jon Bernthal – Braxton

John Lithgow – Lamar Blackburn

Cynthia Addai-Robinson – Marybeth Medina

Jean Smart – Rita Blackburn

'The Accountant' film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Oct 2016

 

Accountant Miscounted

“can our son lead a normal life?” a man in the trailer asked.

“he is capable of uncooking years worth of books” another announced.

I liked the sound of this. Both statements sounded as though the lead character would be some sort of super-slick, dodgy villain on the run (as it were) from a normal existance.
It sounded intriguing.

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..it was the complete opposite.

And what the trailer made The Accountant sound like, it couldn’t have been further from.
Yes Ben Affleck was looking rather dishy in his usual square-headed, dimple chin way (stick the man in tracksuit bottoms and a tight fit t-shirt and he almost becomes porn-star hot), but other than this he couldn’t have been less entertaining.
No focus at all was put upon whether Christian could lead a normal life or not, and instead the movie’s plot – involving a corrupt banker duping his company out of millions – shone the spotlight on Dana simply trying to uncover ‘who did it’. In simple terms; Affleck’s character is brought in to do the math on a load of archived bank reports.
That’s it.
That’s your lot.
There is no intrigue surrounding Christian’s obsessive compulsions brought on by his autism, the strange things he gets up to in the privacy of his own home are just an undercurrent running in the background as support for the story’s structure. So don’t be expecting precious qualities or capabilities people – The Accountant strays far from such interesting content, sadly.

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Then along comes Kendrick. With her usual pretty chipmunk-esque features, she makes the most of doing what she always does; standing on the spot looking slightly dazed as though trying to work out a mathmatic equation in her head (they cast her perfectly for this movie). This isn’t me being harsh – this is me being honest. It’s what I see from her for at least 60% of three out of five of her movies.
And here she is again, arms by her sides, in a denim jacket looking half-content half-baffled.

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The woman doesn’t bring a lot to this movie, and perhaps this is because of her limited screen time. But she makes an ideal ‘filler’, someone to create backing support as Affleck takes charge. And I will say the scene where the pair are sat on steps of their workplace having a very awkward conversation makes a witty watch. It’s not overly hilarious but it offers a subtle air of humour between the two actors. Good stuff.

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Again, I was extremely disappointed by the way the trailer for The Accountant suggested it might focus on the intriguing story of a man as he embarks on the journey of “a normal life” – and instead, turned out to be one of the most subtle stories of money laundering I’ve ever seen. The feature opens.
Affleck does stuff.
The movie ends.
Watching The Accountant was like popping into town with the intent of shopping, going around the shops for two hours, and coming home empty handed. I certainly didn’t take anything home from this movie. The dull theme, its lack of messages, nothing.

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Affletic

Affleck does good in his portryal of an autistic chap. At least I think he’s autistic, it’s more emphasized that he’s a human calculator who is extremely good at his job. But that aside, the actor brings a great energy to the screen as Christian Wolff. He has the character’s image nailed flawlessly; with those distant facial expressions and boyish good looks. Just the way in which Affleck stares at something with sad puppy eyes makes an impact, and his performance here in The Accountant radiates a young man trapped in an older man’s body. All the man has to do is remain neutral and he has an effect – less is definitely more. He really isn’t overly bad, it’s just the movie’s plot and lack of excitement which lets it all down.

****EPILEPSY WARNING****

If you suffer from epilepsy, be warned of the scenes where Christian enters his bedroom and sits on the bed. He performs a nightly ritual involving pills, pounding music, self-harm – and flashing light.
I don’t have epilepsy myself, but if I did I swear this scene would have set it off. As the man sits on his bed meditating (or whatever the hell else it is he’s doing), a compact light machine omits hideously erratic and almost nauseating flashes of light. And it’s harsh.
I can usually tolerate things like that, but this was horrible. I had to look up at the cinema ceiling or at the walls, it was that painful.

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I did notice that when I went to see The Accountant, there was no warning sign displayed anywhere (mentioning the strobe effects). However, when I returned to the cinema a week later to catch Arrival, management had put a small board up on the ticket desks confirming the light effects. Very good idea – even if it should have been put up the day it opened!

So be warned, people. The Accountant contains flashing lights most viewers with epilepsy would find unbearable.
Watch out for the scene where Christian enters his bedroom.

Dressed in casual gym attire and with that cute square head, Affleck is easy on the eye as well as effective in creating his autistic character. He wasn’t bad at all, and had me interested in Christian’s whizz-kid abilities – it was just a shame the movie didn’t focus on this.

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Shit-Shot

You know those movies where the bad guys, cops or other CIA agent-type authorities are shit-hot on tracking down the target – but suddenly lose all their talent at the end and can’t seem to even line up their gun aim properly?

Yes, this happens in The Accountant.

For some bizarre reason in the finale of this movie, every police officer suddenly becomes shit at taking aim and manages to demolish everything else but Christian. Walls crumble, doors explode, wood flies everywhere, smoke, fire…

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..and yet none of the group of pro gunmen can even graze his ear.
They are bloody HORRENDOUS at the simple task – and there’s a group of them against one man.

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The Accountant isn’t a great movie. It’s pretty average in fact. One of those in, watch, out, forget. One of those productions you end up wondering why the fuck the producers even bothered flushing $44m in to.
And yes. One of those movies the trailer makes look intriguing and interesting, but ends up being completely different. The Accountant is a let-down in terms of plot, and is only held up by the fact it contains big names; I.E. Simmons, Kendrick.

Then again, most movies are ‘brilliant’ because they contain a cluster of ‘names’ aren’t they.
Yawn.

 

 

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This entry was posted on December 15, 2016 by .
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