A Mixed Bag
The Accountant (2016): As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
I'm baaaaaaaaack! After almost a month off as I dealt with my personal life, I'm back and getting ready for the Oscar season by reviewing a film that will almost certainly have nothing to do with the Oscars come February! YES. Who need Birth of a Nation when you can see The Accountant, right? Well, I figured I should come back on the movie scene by reviewing a film that I had actually been kind of looking forward to for a while. I was initially really excited for this after seeing the debut trailer. This trailer is one of my favorites for the year, but I quickly became cautious with this film because Warner Brothers marketed the crap out of it. Often times, when a film is marketed as much as Warner Brothers marketed this, it means that the film is not great and the distributor is trying to hype up opening weekend sales because chances are the sales will drop drastically after the word gets out. Additionally, Warner Brothers is on some kind of cold streak, and sadly that (mostly) continues here. Actually, this film is decent. But decent for Warner Brothers is Best Picture worthy in their book. But for me decent is disappointing because I was hoping for so much more. So, once again, let's jump into it, shall we?
First off, let's talk about the best part of the film. The huge marketing campaign has focused around #WhoIsTheAccountant. Warner Brothers was wise to focus on this aspect of the film, because it is the best part of the film. The first 45 minutes or so of the 128 minute film are by far the most interesting as we discover, with the people around him I might add, who the accountant really is. The film does a good job only giving us bits and pieces of his past through periodic flashbacks, but this is where it's first fault lies. The film is constantly trying to one-up itself. Each new revelation HAS to be bigger than the last one. This torpedoed the film in its final act, as the last big "twist" is totally ridiculous and unbelievable, and contrasts with everything else we had seen in the film to that point. The film also stumbles in its delivery of two major story lines. The FBI story line is completely ridiculous and frustratingly wastes JK Simmons, (which is criminal-you cannot waste one of the most talented character-actors ever like this) and the talented Anna Kendrick is wasted in a role that can simply be described as, "the girl who falls for the guy." Heavy sigh.
While these faults are pretty glaring, there are other silver linings in this film. For one, it is quite funny. I think a few times I laughed at times I wasn't supposed to, but there are a few good lines scattered about to keep you entertained. Ben Affleck is pretty good too. Not great, but good. Don't worry, though. His Oscar contender is still coming later this year in Live by Night. JK Simmons, despite his limited role, steals the show because of course he does. Despite a weak storyline, the one scene where he's asked to do some actual acting he kills it and single-handily makes this scene my favorite scene of the film. And everyone else's favorite scene from the film in the theater. Trust me. If you do go see it, you'll know what scene I'm talking about. Ultimately, though, the biggest fault of this film is that it's safe. It is a very ordinary film that I found myself asking "is that it?" when the credits rolled. The main story line is fine, but by no means super captivating, and if you're film's main story line isn't captivating, you aren't going to make it very far. Even more so when there is nothing of note to say in terms of cinematography, editing, or costumes. Even the score and musical selections are forgettable, and that's one thing that Warner Brothers usually goes all out in. I would say your money is better spent on something else. Netflix it when that day comes.
The Critique: Despite some captivating intrigue early on, The Accountant ultimately flops because of an unquenchable need to try and one-up itself. And because it wasted JK Simmons. Not happy about that, guys.
The Recommendation: Netflix it.
Rewatchability: Moderately Low
The Verdict: 5/10 Average
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