Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life, before he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters and can't stand idly by.
A marksman living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President. After being double crossed for the attempt and on the run, he sets out for the real killer and the truth.
Christian Wolff is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department's Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King, starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.Written by
John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor appeared in Twenty Good Years (2006) See more »
At the end of the opening scene shootout at the Gambino "social club" you hear the hammer cocking on Wolff's pistol as he holds it behind King's head. As the camera pans, the hammer is not cocked. See more »
Above average action film that could have used more focus
Do you know what I found the most unbelievable thing in Ben Affleck's latest action film, THE ACCOUNTANT?
Ben Affleck as an Autistic accountant who helps "un-cook the books" of some nefarious fellows - no problem.
That same Autistic accountant who also is deadly trained in martial arts and weapons - no problem (though it does stretch credibility almost to the breaking point).
But when THE ACCOUNTANT went into a giant corporation and uncovered a major siphoning off of funds with the skills and accounting acumen that an Accounting neophyte like I could have uncovered, I threw the flag. These bigwigs would have been busted almost immediately, and not "suddenly uncovered" 15 years later!
Put that aside and THE ACCOUNTANT is an above-average action film with an interesting plot (and subplots) that suffers from a lack of focus that can be distracting at times, but - ultimately - succeeds despite these failures.
Let's start with the performances and the actors in the 4 main lead roles. All well cast with very good actors - in some cases too good - which is part of this film's strength, and it's weakness.
Up front, of course, is Affleck's turn as the titular ACCOUNTANT. He is very good in this role and despite his character's lack of emotion, he portrays quite a bit through look, gesture and silence and you are drawn to this character. He is ably abetted by the great JK Simmons as the Treasury agent hot on his trail. At first, it looks like Simmons is channeling a minor version of his Oscar winning character in WHIPLASH, but then, something happens and layers are peeled back to reveal a vulnerability and likability that endures you to him. Add to this is Jon Bernthal's enigmatic assassin who is also after Affleck. Bernthal really has one trait that works for him - simmering rage - and he puts it to good use here.
But the performance that drew me the strongest into the film and, at the same time, pulled me away from it is Anna Kendrick as Jr. Accountant Dana Cummings, the person who uncovers the misdeeds of the corporation. Her character doesn't come on screen until about 1/3 of the way through the film, but at that point, she begins to take over in a role that should have been a supporting role. I don't blame Kendrick for this, she is a charismatic and engaging actress who is "must watch", I blame Director Gavin O'Connor for losing focus on who the main character of this film is.
Is it about THE ACCOUNTANT (Affleck)?
Is it about the agent chasing him (Simmons) and the secrets that he is hiding that connects him to THE ACCOUNTANT?
Is it about the assassin charged with killing THE ACCOUNTANT (Bernthal) and the connections these two share?
Or...is it about the JUNIOR ACCOUNTANT (Kendrick) and the idea of the innocent being pulled into a world of non-innocence?
Any one of these films would have been interesting, or maybe a film that was 25% about each of these...but, with Affleck in the lead, O'Connor focuses 70% of the film on THE ACCOUNTANT, so when we start spending, and investing, in the other characters, it is jarring when you are pulled from one to the other and back to Affleck's titular character.
All that said, I found I was invested in the finale action sequence and wanted each character to succeed, even though they are on opposite sides, which is a sign, for me, of something working well, I just wish things were more focused.
7 (out of 10) stars and you can take that to the Bank (ofMarquis)
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