Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review of the film 'The Accountant'.

Even though I have been watching quite a few movies lately, I haven't managed to watch that many drama films. Most of the movies that I've watched in the last few months have been either animations or action films.

The biggest reason that I don't like watching drama films is that I'm worried that they don't put me on a good mood. Life is pretty depressing already, so why should I watch something that wouldn't cheer me up?

Nevertheless, a couple of days ago I managed to watch a drama film called 'The Accountant' with my friend. This is a movie that had gotten pretty good reviews at, so we thought that we should give it a chance.

The premise of the film is that an autistic accountant, played by Ben Affleck, lives a secret life. This math genius is someone who not only excels at uncovering accounting frauds, but he also happens to be an adept killing machine.

The movie about an autistic hitman begins with an introduction that deals with his childhood. Our main protagonist is a young kid who despite his serious behavioral problems has an uncanny ability to solve intellectual tasks and puzzles.

A bit later, when the film moves to his adulthood as a small town accountant, you can't help but to be interested in his life. How does this guy manage his life and deal with us so called 'normal' everyday individuals?

In the first act, thanks to his smart accounting advice, he manages to befriend a local couple. He accepts their invitation to their countryside farm, where he spends time with them and demonstrates his sharpshooting capabilities.

Not long after that, our accountant gets his big accounting assignment (inciting incident). In this task he's supposed to uncook the books of a company and figure out whether there's a problem with this hi-tech firm that is about to go public.

Here he manages to befriend another accounting afficionado, played by the lovely Anna Kendrick. She manages to make our main protagonist seem a little bit more human and not as hopelessly distant and cold.

After pulling an all-nighter (in the picture), Affleck's character figures out where the problems within the company's accounting practices are. Someone high enough in the firm is laundering money for his or her own endeavours.

Not surprisingly, all hell breaks loose when this multi million fraud is about to be unveiled by our accountant. The bad guys go mercilessly after Affleck's and Kendrick's character - and are determined to take care of them for good.

When it comes to the story in this movie, at least during the first ninety minutes or so, just about everything in it seems to work. This is when the autistic hitman storyline works and it looks like those behind the movie know what they are doing.

That is that, during the first two acts of 'The Accountant', pretty much all the charactes are interesting in the film and the story is focused. The storyline about the slow humanization of Affleck's character is something that you can easily follow.

It's not until the last 30 minutes when the film's story unfortunately starts to get off the rails. It turns out that there are simply too many subplots in the film that get expanded and that get attention for no reason at all.

For example, there's the subplot about the federal agent and his female assistant that gets too much attention. Especially when it came to J.K. Simmons' giving that 5-6 minute speech that was all about exposition, I had to shake my head.

Not only did that speech turn the tables around and change the focus of the film, it made Affleck's character inconsistent too. I didn't know who his character really was anymore and what were the values that he represented.

It also has to be said that the stuff about Affleck's family in the third act felt way too contrived. The fact that they made one of the bad guys his brother was just too much and made the film feel like its story was all over the place.

All in all, it's fairly obvious the film would have been much better had the writers trimmed the script and cut many of the side character storylines. These needed changes, in my opinion, would have given the film a much better flow.

As far as I'm concerned, the fact that the writers had too many 'darlings' in the script was unfortunate. These 'darlings' were mistakes that could have been avoided had someone paid a bit more attention to what worked and what didn't.

I mean, even though it's true that there were a lot of good things about 'The Accountant', as a whole these good things weren't enough to redeem the movie. There were simply too many serious problems with its script.

In the end, I just wish that the film would have worked better from start to finish. In that case, 'The Accountant' could have been a really good movie, instead of being a promising film that didn't deliver all the way through.

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