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The Accountant

Gavin O’Connor has had a recent slump with his film slate. He was made famous for his great boxing film Warrior in 2011. This year he had two films come out, a western with Natalie Portman called Jane Got A Gun, which was an absolute flop critically and financially, and now the Ben Affleck helmed The Accountant. Unfortunately his second film this year is also a mess critically though its less O’Connor’s fault than the actual script by Bill Dubuque.

The Accountant is the story of an autistic man named Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who works as an accountant at his own small firm in the suburbs of Chicago… and also as a bookkeeper for major criminal organizations. The US Treasury Department begins to investigate into Wolff’s activities as one of Wolff’s dealings begins to go awry.

O’Connor managed to bring together a spectacular cast, Ben Affleck is great with minute details and dedication to his character’s special condition. We also have other big names such as Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons, as well as John Lithgow, Jon Bernthal, and Jeffrey Tambor in cameo-like appearances. The cast is impressive and all, but even they can’t pull off a nonsensical and messy script.

The main problem with the script was the motivations for its characters. During the beginning J.K. Simmons, who plays a high ranking Treasury official, tasks a lower analyst played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson to investigate into Wolff’s activities, but he blackmails her in order to do it, and it absolutely makes no sense. Wouldn’t it be this woman’s job to do what her boss says? It’s not like she was doing anything illegal or that would be morally against her beliefs. It seemed so random and forced into the story.

Then we have the derivations of our characters. The police investigation for one, is completely non-credible, in fact that whole aspect of the story has no effect whatsoever in Wolff’s story, it simply is there for the sake of being there. You could easily cut out the Treasury investigation and its characters from this whole film, and Wolff’s journey would be no different.

Then there is the villain’s plan and motivations, which are unnecessarily violent, and have such a simple diplomatic solution; anyone in the audience could have found a peaceful solution. And Wolff’s whole assassin training, which is supposedly instigated by his military father to avoid bullying, is such an extreme origin even if this were a superhero film; not to mention its terrible parenting. And finally there is the predictable clichés, which I thought at first the film wouldn’t go for, it would have been too easy and too trivial; but of course by the end, the film goes for it.

So unfortunately O’Connor and Affleck’s partnership is completely tarnished by a script that seems to be a first draft. The film has a few entertaining action sequences, and Affleck does well to address autism and its difficulties, even if the script mostly ignores it.



About Young Critic

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I've been writing on different version of this website since February of 2013. I originally founded the website in a film-buff phase in high school, but it has since continued through college and into my adult life. Young Critic may be getting older, but the love and passion for film is forever young. 

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