Whether in front or behind the camera Ben Affleck (Argo) is definitely getting back to the quality of the early pictures that made him a breakout star – he was even the best thing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – and he continues in that vein with this slick and stylish thriller.
This time he’s in front of the lens for this noteworthy genre entry from acclaimed Warrior director Gavin O’Connor, starring as a maths genius – with a truly shady past – that works for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organisations.
Behind the façade of small mall-based financial firm Christian Wolff (Affleck) has well-meaning ulterior motives – after being raised with personal autistic difficulties – but when he takes on a legitimate client with a state-of-the-art robotics company (ran by John Lithgow’s Lamar Blackburn) he uncovers a conspiracy that brings his upbringing into play.
Said upbringing was being trained by martial arts experts when he was younger at the behest of his ‘hardline’ military officer father (Robert C Treveiler) – which has left him with ‘Bourne-esque’ combat and weaponry skills. When a young accounting clerk (Pitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick) uncovers a discrepancy involving millions of dollars, the duo go on the run with a hitman known as ‘The Assassin’ (Jon ‘The Punisher’ Bernthal from Netflix’s Daredevil) on their tail.
To make matters worse the Treasury’s Crime Enforcement Division, led by JK Simmon’s (Whiplash) Ray King, are closing in on Wolff’s whereabouts as well, with rookie agent Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) piecing together the puzzle to his mysterious identity.
And while The Accountant does have a few pacing issues and glaring plot holes (dead bodies left at a farm yard never to be mentioned again is just one example), it does offer enough twists and turns of ingenuity to make this an above-average thriller which punches above its weight.
Affleck again continues to show a nice variation in character roles with the intriguing Wolff, and he’s ably backed up by the always good value presence of Simmons, Kendrick and Bernthal, as The Accountant fluctuates being a good old-fashioned drama – and something reminiscent to last year’s impressive John Wick.
It does outstay its welcome a tad, but crunches enough of the big numbers to end up the right side of taxing.
Gavin Miller[youtube id=”0KHOVlEpMyY” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jon Bernthal, Anna Kendrick, Jk Simmons, Cynthai Addai-Robinson, Jean Smart, Seth Lee, Jake Presley, Robert C Treveiler, Alison Wright, Gregory Alan Williams, Jeffrey Tambor & John Lithgow
Running Time: 2 Hrs 8 Mins
Director: Gavin O’connor
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