Thursday, October 20, 2016

Movie Review - The Accountant

Autistic accountant in shootout. Kills everybody, balances the books.

I chose to use this poster for the movie, rather than one featuring Affleck with a rifle that shoots air craft shells for a reason considering the dual nature of the film. The scene in the poster has been featured in the trailers in a 'meet cute' scene between Affleck and Kendrick and a pocket protector and is part of the better half of the movie.

The movie has two sides. One is about Christopher Wolff, autistic accountant to the world's global bad guys, like international drug dealers, arms merchants and insurgents, and US Treasury agent Ray King's (J. K. Simmons) attempt to find him. It's a taut drama, partially told in flashback, which helps explain Affleck's character. Thrown into the mix is actress Anna Kendrick, who as Dana Cummings, an accountant at a bioscience company, finds some accounting irregularity. Wolff, who occasionally takes a legit client as camouflage, is hired by the president and founder of the company to confirm what Cummings finds. Accounting may seem like a dull subject for a movie, but Affleck plays Wolff with such drive that even watching him mumble is exciting.  This is all played well with enough twists, in both the investigation of the company and the chase by Treasury, that the story stays interesting.

Unfortunately, the makers of this movie, apparently didn't think this story was interesting enough. So the other side of the movie is basically a first person shooter, with the dead-eyed Wolff carrying an enormous rifle capable of shooting a melon at a mile away.  And putting large holes in anything much closer.

As I get older I find gratuitous movie violence more distasteful. It was my main complaint about "The Magnificent Seven" which we saw last week. This gripe mainly only refers to movies set in realistic locales without men and women in tights flying about shooting lightening bolts from their finger tips.

Considering Wollf's clientele, some violence was probably necessary, but I think they could have lost a few hundred rounds of ammunition and focused some more on the uncomfortable budding relationship between Cummings and Wolff. I'm not a big fan of Anna Kendrick but the movie set up an interesting character for her and then gave her nothing much to do except make wise cracks ("What kind of accountant are you?!") and look cute.

The reviews for the movie seem split about 50/50 between those who thought the movie was smart and those who thought it was dumb. We liked the movie and thought Affleck was pretty good. I don't know much about autism so I can't speak anything about his portrayal as one.  It's too bad that the movie was only half-smart.

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