This action crime drama about a math genius with a checkered past and lethal set of skills turned out to be one of the most surprisingly entertaining action flicks of the year. While the trailers may not have convinced most people on the believability of our main character, Ben Affleck will show you otherwise and shines in one of his best roles yet.
I was one of the seemingly few people that enjoyed the trailers to this movie and was genuinely looking forward to this movie coming out. I thought it looked good, and was intrigued by the main character, though when I asked around if people were interested in seeing it, most of their comments were pretty similar. “An accountant that’s also a hitman? Doesn’t sound very good to me” or “How can he be autistic, a math genius, martial arts master, AND an assassin at the same time? Seems pretty far-fetched”. It’s discouraging to hear people say things like that before even giving it a chance, especially after watching it. This movie exceeded my expectations and more; it truly surprised me! So let’s get into it!
Ben Affleck as The Accountant
Again, the character may seem a little absurd, but Ben Affleck completely pulls this character off in what might be one of my favorite performances of his. This movie does a great job of setting him up in a believable way, and in a way where you can understand how such a character can be created. Affleck also does a fantastic job conveying the mannerisms and mindset of someone suffering from autism. Not once did I notice any missteps in his portrayal. With all the action aside, between Affleck and direction of the film, it sheds a different light on what autism is, which I really appreciated.
Gavin O’Connor, whom previously directed Warrior, once again shows off what he’s capable of doing with action sequences, and it is fantastic. The fight scenes in this film are Bourne-level awesome without the cheesy sound effects, yeah, I just said that. These sequences are so realistic and brutal and so well choreographed and shot that my jaw was on the floor at times. Ben Affleck is one badass dude in this movie, and I would definitely not mind seeing some moves from this film in the Batman movie…minus the assassination parts of course.
The Relationship Between the Two Leads
We’ve all seen it a million times in a million different movies. The action star is strong and independent by himself. He meets a girl whom he isn’t particularly interested in or conflicts with. They go through something traumatic. He saves her. They both slowly fall for each other. Blah blah blah. This film started down that same cliché path, but then did something that I was so relieved to see; the broke the mold. Obviously these characters cared for each other by the end, but it didn’t have to end with them falling in love or even sleeping with each other for that matter. I’m extremely tired of the way relationships are handled in film and tv nowadays because no two characters of opposite sex can just be good friends in the end. Thankfully, The Accountant broke free from this trope and did something I want to see more often, and guess what, it all worked out even better than if they had conformed to the cliché. Huh, imagine that.
The Looooong Exposition Scene
While this film may have avoided one movie trope, it unfortunately did not does not avoid another. There are a few flashback scenes that help uncover back story throughout the movie, but there comes of scene where we sit down for a solid 10 minutes (or so it felt) to explain everything in detail. This might not have been such a problem if it did not come during such a time in the film that was preceded by a certain plot realization where we are expecting an action-heavy scene to follow. The pace of the film really slowed down here and I have to ask why they chose to handle that amount of back story in this manner when they were previously handling it so well beforehand.
- Ben Affleck did an incredible job in this film and gives one of his best performances to date.
- Anna Kendrick is also very good in this film, giving us a character that can relate to the lead, as well as a character that I’m sure a lot of people can relate too as well.
- All in all everyone does a good job in this film, with Ben being the one true standout.
- Gavin O’Connor shows off his ability to create fantastic action scenes.
- Gavin also gives us a new and respectful look at those who struggle with autism, mental illness, or those who may feel like they just don’t fit in with everybody else.
- There was also a lot of great humor in this film that was played out very well.
- Again, fight scenes are extremely well choreographed and executed. They felt as real as it gets.
- With that, the sound design and mixing was very effective.
- The cinematography in some scenes was excellent.
- Characters were well thought out and made a potentially absurd character interesting and believable.
- Has a great twist at the end, though I kind of saw it coming.
- Exposition was a pretty lengthy at times, and do not have the best placement in the story (particularly one scene).
- Overall the main storyline isn’t all that unique, and needs help from the lead’s back story to make it more interesting.
- A very thought provoking score that matches the theme of the movie.
- Helps the movie in most scenes, but is nothing overly special.
- This movie genuinely surprised me and exceeded my expectations.
- It’s a great action movie with plenty of intriguing drama and playful comedy.
- The action in this film is some of the best that I’ve seen in awhile, and the main character is not only interesting, but a total badass.
Final Score: 7.6/10
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I highly recommend this movie and I think that it is one of the surprise action movies of the year. Put aside your preconceived thoughts you may have had while watching the trailer, and see it while you can!