I can just imagine the conversations Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have on the phone. It probably goes a little bit like this –
Damon: Hey Ben, I just watched the new season of Daredevil on Netlifx and it’s really good.
Affleck: I get it Matt. You call me every week and tell me this.
Damon: No, but seriously. It makes you wonder why Daredevil has never been adapted this way…
Affleck: You know what? Maybe they should turn Oceans 12 into a Netflix series and turn that into something other than an incoherent mess.
Damon: Nice try Gigli. You’re talking to Jason Bourne here.
Affleck: Bourne? Try Batman on for size!
Damon: <mumbles> Okay Martha…
Damon: Try beating Superman with a magazine and then maybe you can talk.
I’m 94% sure this conversation has actually happened. And because Damon always brings up his role as Bourne, Affleck took the next step and signed up for his own version of Bourne – The Accountant.
Christian Wolff (Affleck) is a brilliant savant that works day-to-day as a standard CPA. Yet, this small job is a cover for contracts, of the financial and assassin type, in the criminal underground. In between the present narrative, we see flashbacks of his childhood and the ways that his parents dealt (or didn’t deal) with his autism. He learned over the years to cultivate a possible handicap and made it work for his benefit, even if that benefit seems to be in a very dangerous profession.
I was curious as to whether the autism he suffered with would seem a gimmick or just be forgotten as the story progressed. Yes, I believe it was written into the story to add a unique twist, but it flows so well with the story. In this way, it makes sense that his abilities, once honed, are far better than the average person. At the same time, if his habits are thrown off, he cannot deal. (Or “literally can’t even” as the kids say.)
The cast is incredibly impressive. Affleck plays a lonely wanderer extremely well. He even seems to be having fun in a role that requires him to avoid human contact as much as possible. Anna Kendrick has the tendency to be the human equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, but adds some necessary levity and doesn’t outstay her welcome. J.K. Simmons disappears for far too long, but his inclusion is welcome and gives the movie that much more gravitas. I also can’t help but love the preview of what may come when he plays Commissioner Gordon in Ben Affleck’s upcoming “The Batman.”
Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead, The Punisher) plays a corporate cleaner for lack of a more malicious term. He haunts the movie infrequently, but whenever he does show up, he’s certain to steal each scene. It’s a fantastic role that allows him to be hilarious, but also display absolute menace underneath his cool exterior.
At just over two hours, The Accountant breezes right through. Yet, you can’t help but feel there’s three distinct movies crammed in. Director Gavin O’Connor (Miracle, Warrior) creates a fantastic setting to get you right into the action, frustration or humor of each scene. However, his transitions are harsh. The tonal jump from each unveiling layer of plot is jarring. For the first act, I felt as if I was billed the wrong movie because it’s essentially Affleck play Will Hunting as a working class accountant. The second act displays fantastic action sequences, but they almost come out of nowhere, and the third act juggles emotional scenes with intense battles. It all feels like too much is crammed into the movie, but that doesn’t make each scene work any less.
Anyone who appreciates the action of Bourne, but with a far more extensive plot, should absolutely see The Accountant. This deserves to be the sleeper hit of the Fall season. I’m excited already for the inevitable rewatch. B+