In a film that tries to re-invent the suspense action thriller, The Accountant falls at the same hurdle most action films do, an unnecessarily complex but obvious storyline. The premise of The Accountant is different and could have been a superb thriller but, in my opinion, it didn’t need the action edge. When this film was first announced with it’s cast I thought it had great potential, instead, it was mediocre with a confusing storyline that left me leaving the cinema not sure what happened and why.
The film centres around Ben Affleck’s Christian Wolff, a highly skilled assassin whose compulsive attitude through suffering from autism allows him to work as an accountant day-to-day. He was raised by a dominant father who decided to train him and his brother to fight. After his mother leaves, he struggles to cope with his father’s relationship and is pushed away from his brother. This could have been a big big year for Affleck, starring as Batman for the first time and still riding on the success of Argo, but things didn’t go to plan. It seems Affleck’s only saving grace is his Oscar-bait Live By Night which trailer and early buzz lines it up to be a real contender this year.
The supporting cast also got me excited to see this film, I think Anna Kendrick is setting up her career to be a long and successful one. Many forget that we were first really introduced to her in her Oscar-nominated performance in Up In The Air. She has since gone on to do well in both franchises and comedies which suit her personality as well as musicals for her amazing voice. The Accountant shows Kendrick can be in action films and not feel out of place, she understands dialogue and how to make the audience care about a character. I really want to see her return to a typical Oscar film so we can really see what she can do with her acting ability, maybe next year!
The rest of the cast was rounded out my some real legends like J.K Simmons and Jeffrey Tambor and some newcomers, in particular Cynthia Addai-Robinson who had good chemistry with Simmons. With such a great cast the film suffers from not having enough time to explore each character, this was most apparent for Tambor’s character, who in my opinion was wasted and whose character didn’t add much to the plot.
The Accountant struggles to find a plotline and stick to is, this could have easily worked as an action film and ignored the storyline about the business and worked fine. It could equally have worked as a business drama without the action as we follow an accountant trying to get to the bottom of business fraud. Instead, the film flutters between the two so much that neither gets enough screen time to feel like a complete and satisfactory story. I felt like the business fraud storyline was so confusing that I left not fully understanding what had happened, I didn’t understand any of the character’s motives in hiring the accountant which left me frustrated and stupid.
This film had the potential to work really well but instead it fell really flat. With very obvious plot points, like who Christian’s brother was, and trying to fit too much storyline in, it just came across as a confused mess. The film’s length is also way too long, if you’re going to make a film over two hours don’t make it feel like it is but The Accountant feels about three hours long! It’s a shame that all this talent was wasted on such a dissapointing storyline, lets hope their next projects are much more satisfying.