Directed by: Gavin O'Connor
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow
Runtime: 128 min
Ben Affleck portrays an accountant named Christian Wolff who suffers from a sort of autism since childhood, which provides him with a special set of skills, like being able to do some incredibly hard math, upside-down puzzles and ... killing people. A total badass.
He appears to be just a regular accountant, but in fact, he works for some highly dangerous people. After taking a job at a robotics company and being handed a problem involving missing money, discovered by his now assistant Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), he goes on a path that can only bring more problems and more blood.
I really enjoyed this film, once again my Christmas' movies are not disappointing me. Amazing action scenes, good characters, a great cast with an excellent performance from Ben Affleck and an unconventional narrative that brings a story full of twists. It does have some problems, but not enough to take me out of the captivating entertainment.
The Accountant is not a movie for everyone, it has an extremely non-linear way to go through the plot (flashbacks, sequences out of order, ...) and that can make a lot of people dislike this film, which can be proved by the huge number of mixed reviews. Not me, not at all. There are a couple of scenes that are shown at the very beginning and only explained at the very end, which I love because it made me THINK! This isn't the usual "action" movie where I just watch it as it rolls without really thinking about it, this one actually needs and expects me to go through the details and all the clues that it gives. There are a lot of twists throughout the film and since I actually thought about a lot of the plot's little hints, I was able to figure it out most of them before the heavy exposition scene (more about this at the end of the review).
Ben Affleck keeps proving to every hater that he's an amazing actor. Ever since he started directing as well that his actor's skills improved a lot, he's able to capture everything someone with his character's conditions would have and I couldn't get enough of him. I felt super invested in his backstory, I wanted to know him better, how he got to where he was, how he became who he is and how he dealt with his family response to his special gift. What a performance! What a character!
The rest of the cast doesn't fall behind: Anna Kendrick is sweet, charming and lively as always; J.K. Simmons plays Ray King, who runs the Crime Enforcement Division department, and he's as brilliant as one would expect; Jon Bernthal plays Brax, another badass like Christian that gives some delightful action pieces. Speaking about this last topic, Gavin O'Connor does a beautiful job directing the action sequences throughout the whole movie, exceptionally well choreographed and well shot. A lot of scenes made me exclaim "ouch" out loud since the stunt work is so realistic. Well done!
The pacing is slightly off sometimes. I love the fact that the movie takes its time to develop its characters and it does it elegantly, all the characters have great depth to them, but there are some small moments where it does drag a little bit. Still, this is a minor issue. The real problems come below.
This is such an unconventional movie that it's hard to place it in any genre. It has action, comedy, romantic comedy, drama and some thriller-like moments, which if not well-balanced, gives an uneven tone. The balance is indeed off, the film's tone goes around and around, which isn't able to be smoothed out because there are also a lot of sub-plots that seemed main plots, but these are dropped by the end of the movie ... It's just more unbalanced details that don't help the movie flow as it should.
Finally, I get to the huge exposition scene near the end. I don't feel that it isn't necessary, I know it is, but not like this. Many of the information received is unnecessary and it's soooooo long. J.K. Simmons basically explains the whole movie in five minutes and it took away all the mystery and intrigue that the film was having until then. It's such a lazy way to show the twists that it kind of lost the impact that it should have had. By far, my biggest problem with the last act.
Even if The Accountant's flaws are there, they don't overcome the great cast's chemistry and the wonderful narrative. Amazing action stunts, well-developed characters, a magnificent third act (which has a final twist that blew me away, I was completely surprised by it) and a pitch-perfect Ben Affleck. Overall, I see myself watching it again, it has a big re-watchable touch to it.