Aka, Ben Affleck in glasses.
“Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.Rating: R (for strong violence and language throughout)Genre: DramaDirected By: Gavin O’ConnorWritten By: Bill DubuqueIn Theaters: Oct 14, 2016 WideRuntime: 128 minutesStudio: Warner Bros. Pictures“
Well, this is the film I was DYING to see since August.
But, no, in all seriousness, this was the best “shoot ’em up” film this year to date… even better than Hell or High Water (2016) which was pretty good (8.5 out of 10 in my book).
*In no particular order (okay I lied, it’s in order), I’ll be reviewing the following with no spoilers.
So you know those films where you see the trailer -which looks ridiculously action filled- and you say to yourself, “damn, I bet they strung together all the good parts and the movie itself will be shit in comparison!”
Lemme be the first to tell you, IT’S NOT!!
So much action, it kept my inner war-monger very happy. Shots, hand-to-hand combat, suburban warfare, sniping, close range combat, broken bones, wrestling, strangulation… Am I spoiling this for anyone?
I don’t recommend taking your kids to seeing this one until they are at least used to violence (such as previously viewing Spartacus, the show).
So fear not, my fellow violence enthusiasts, there is plenty of awesome action (not gory, just hardcore). Many will die, and you won’t even feel bad about it since they’re bad guys.
And, I’m going to move on… I could ramble about the tasteful armor-piercing artillery’s sound effects, but you might start slowly backing away from me. Let’s not do that…
I will say this. I have seen so many movie tropes and plots that I can practically predict what’s going to happen and how it’ll end.
This one pleasantly surprised me. Not that it was shockingly new or particularly “wow!! never would have guessed it!”; but it was nice to have the story take a different turn than I thought it would.
There are flashbacks, but I found them to be more tasteful than the typical annoying flashback interruptions (Arrow (2012) for example which makes annoying use of this plot device).
I liked that the flashbacks had specific triggers and they made sense. I’d almost forget there were flashbacks. Then when the flashback returned, I’d want to know more. Rather than distracting, this element enhanced the story just enough without needlessly bloating the plot.
Throughout the storyline itself, there were unique moments of humor, irony, and dark humor intertwined. Rather than being obvious (think Jack Black or some other stupid=funny trope), the intermittent flecks of comedy were either satirical or based on personal character irony. With its well-timed transitions and sensitivity to the differences and diversity, the plot was pleasant in viewing.
However, the downside was the lack of a substantial villain. Again, another case of ambiguity where good and bad aren’t clearly defined and thus, there is a sense of floundering that pulls the plot slightly off-kilter.
There are “bad guys” but only within a certain context. With such a heavy-duty stack of people on the side of justice, the counterbalance is lacking IMHO.
Maybe that’s why it’s a drama film, not an action film (how would that make a difference)???
Know what? Whatever!
Yes, Ben Affleck is still jacked as fuck.
(I think he has to maintain for the next Batman film…).
Thankfully they take this into consideration with the character so that it all makes sense…kinda.
How is Christian Wolff, the accountant, so jacked? Is the workout routine kept offscreen on purpose, making room for more relevant things?
Or, maybe he’s just born with it…
Initially, I thought this Wolff character would turn out a different way. However, the director seemed to take the Affleck’s strengths into consideration. Obviously, minimal lines are the way to go. 😛
By virtue of the main character, many of the secondary characters become responsible for carrying conversations around the Accountant -often without him- in order to keep things moving along. They do a lot of explaining, describing, defining and much of the lines are actually filler for the viewers.
Not a good thing, but this itself, didn’t turn out as bad as it could have been (yes, I heard you wince, believe me, it’s not horrendous). I’m grateful the writer spread out the storyline progression and the necessary conversations in a balanced way.
Anna Kendrick’s character is a nice contrast that contributes humor to the plot while incorporating some badly needed dynamic to offset Affleck’s stoic character. As seen in the trailer, she does hitch her wagons with Christian Wolff for a time, just to show how “atypical” he appears in comparison.
Many of the side characters work triple-shift to flesh out the scenes and round out the plot points -because Christian Wolff is a really reticent fellow!
There are other folks in this film, and they pulled together some A-list actors for the cast. Despite this lineup, I drop the character category to A- due to the lack of actual villain (an antithesis to the main character standing for “justice”). No counter balance to the character line-up…
Actually, ignorance may be the true villain of this film…
I’ll stop here, the characters come together as per usual. I don’t need to belabor further, else I’d just have to spoil it.
As tasteful as the soundtracks were, I was even more impressed by the director’s use of “silence” or lack of soundtrack to add punch to certain scenes.
Too often, an okay movie becomes overwhelmed by music scores and soundtracks that completely detract from what’s going on. For me, this was a great balance of soundtracks and silence.
I didn’t get distracted by the soundtrack and that’s a plus in my book.
If I watch it again, I’ll pay more attention to give my audiophilia a chance to kick in. But in the initial, I was too busy feeding my eyes and brain with -you guessed it- violence.
If you were like me, and just came for all the badassery of Christian Wolff, the kick-ass vigilante accountant, then this is a good film.
If you expect a deep plot, an overwhelming romance, or a touching family drama, you will be sorely disappointed (and may demand refunds).
Make no illusions, this will not be a deep film, although it does have its moments (mostly at the end). Although there are amusing scenes and ironic moments, this will not be a funny film. While the concept is strangely unique, the film leaned more towards a “kill them all” genre with a dash of wholesome altruism.
In light of the trailer provided, this was a film that I wholeheartedly enjoyed.
Have you seen this film? What are your thoughts? Feel free to disagree, my assessment is purely selfish. 😀