Characters and Crime can’t Account For The Slight Action Time

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            Ben Affleck’s career is certainly resurging, as the Good Will Hunting star continues to land one major role after the other. This weekend, Affleck hangs up his cape for a less tech savvy suit, and a few high powered rifles.  No I’m not crazy! I’m just talking about the accountant, the latest massively advertised crime/drama to flood the theaters.  The trailers paint this one to be an intense thriller, and it’s my job to report if the movie delivers on its promise.  So let’s get started shall we?

 

LIKES:

  • Convoluted crime story
  • Comedic relief in the dialogue
  • Good action…at times
  • Affleck’s portrayal

 

We all know the crime/drama genre and love when there are deep, convoluted relationships lurking the shadows.  So it is no surprise that the development crew wrote in plenty of characters to spread the deception around. The Accountant’s “merry” band of clients and assistants all have their backstories to which set the stage for the main drama at hand. Affleck’s character in particular is the center of the complexed conspiracy web, using his incredible gifts of math to decipher the clues at hand, all while flashing back through his life.  Meanwhile, a dynamic treasury office duo tries to uncover their own truths, going on their own man hunt for the accountant. Fans of this genre will be entertained, and I for one liked how they closed all major loops in this tale. As for the action component, it is also fitting into the genre. The Accountant trades high explosive, CGI crafted car chases for calmer gunplay and a few martial arts to sweeten the deal. Edgy yes! Exciting? Kind of.

Outside of a fitting story for a crime genre, my favorite part of the Accountant had to be the comedic relief provided.  Don’t get me wrong, the movie is a thriller, but the writers have managed to put some gold in their writing.  Affleck’s dry comedic presentation sells the simplistic lines, and much of the writing is on the timing of the situation. And the best part is, that the comedy isn’t forced, it just happens.  This in particular is due to Affleck playing the role of a person with autism very well, capturing the obsessive nuances and awkward conversations representative of the mental state.  I tip my hat off to the portrayal of Asperger’s syndrome, and like the role model they made in this film.

 

DISLIKES:

  • Anna Kendrick’s limited role
  • Formulaic Approach
  • Semi boring action

 

The trailer made Kendrick out to be a major player in the film, promising to be his responsibility for most of the film. And to an extant she fulfilled that role, providing her own quirky comedy and character development of her own.  Unfortunately, they crammed her role into only about a third of the movie and quickly dropped her , once her influence was done.  While this goes down the realistic side, they wasted a lot of potential down many avenues (especially for the price tag associated with her). This held true for the other characters (who again played their parts in the story), but could have been integrated much better in the grand scheme of things.

Another dislike came in the formulaic delivery of this story.  Yes, originality is very hard to come by, but The Accountant followed the traditional path a little too closely.  Where the comedy was natural, the surprises seemed a bit forced for me. They tried too hard to put a twist in the movie, and ended up ruining most of the surprises (I figured out the major twist in the first fifteen minutes). In addition to being predictable, the story also took a bit of time to take off despite having a loud opening.  The Accountant drags at the beginning as it tries to set up the crime and give you backstory and continues to crawl until the action occurs.

Speaking of action, I stated earlier that the action is very fitting (therefore good) in this movie. The Accountant is certainly a skilled protector, whose wicked aim and master of the martial arts could give the caped crusader a run for his money.  However, the realistic delivery can get a bit boring at times and lacks the suspense that other, more elaborate scenes create. While some of my friends jumped during the showing, Affleck’s character was a little too skilled and monotone to be exciting. And the battle at the end, may have the corniest finish I’ve seen in a while that is certainly laughable, but just plain silly to be honest. 

 

The VERDICT:

My friends called it right in saying that the Accountant is entertaining and fits the crime/drama well, but it just doesn’t have the edge like others of its kind (Godfather, Scarface, Sopranos). While the plot is fitting of the genre, the actor is good in portraying autism, and the comedy is well placed, it just lacks that special edge that was promised. Perhaps a little more integration of the other characters and a bad guy who can match his genius would have added a little more excitement to the mix or at least give some less predictable plot spins. I can say it is worth a theater visit, but you might get your money’s worth waiting for it to come home. 

 

My scores are:

Action/Crime/Drama: 8

Movie Overall: 7

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