Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Short Attention Span Review: The Accountant (2016)

Short Attention Span Review: The Accountant (2016)

When Ben Affleck first hit my radar with witty fare like Good Will Hunting and his work with one Kevin Smith, I thought the dude was the bee's knees.  Then he became straight up dookie when he somehow morphed into Hollywood royalty (hello, Bennifer) and starred in a number of vapid flops that were as expensive as they were lackluster.  Like many, I had pretty much written the guy off, and then he hit us with his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, in 2007 and followed that up with The Town and Argo, films that he directed and starred in.  I thought each of those films were terrific (and each one seemed to improve upon the last one) and I've enjoyed a lot of his recent acting gigs for other directors as well, to include his work as Batman for Zack Snyder.  The Accountant is his latest big winner in my eyes, and it showcases one of his best performances to date in a demanding part that is both physical and brainy with a wealth of complexity thrown in for good measure.  He is ably supported by a quality cast that includes Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Jean Smart, and John Lithgow, among others, and director Gavin O'Connor makes the most of everyone's talents.  The Accountant is a joy to watch, but it weaves a complicated web and around the halfway point the viewer is apt to wonder how in the hell the picture is going to tie all these disparate threads together.  Fortunately, while some might find a few of the plot mechanisms to be a bit too convenient, I was thoroughly satisfied with the way everything came together in a gripping final reel.  The film is heavy on drama and suspense, and a bit light on action, though the action it depicts is both brutally effective and highly entertaining.  I would have to rate The Accountant as one of the most complete movies from 2016 that I have enjoyed, and I think it will appeal to lots of different audiences given its considerable depth and variety.

Final Grade: A

Ben Affleck anchors this unique drama/thriller hybrid that weaves a complicated web but manages to tie everything together in the riveting climax.

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