It took me months to watch The Accountant, and an equally long time to finally review it! Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, on the surface an accountant and a math savant, but underneath he’s something more. When a low level accountant (Anna Kendrick) at a major robotics and prosthetics company discovers some discrepancies in their financial records, the head of the company (John Lithgow) brings in Wolff to “uncook” the books and perform a forensic audit on his company to figure out where funds are being leaked to and by whom. Wolff is a highly functioning autistic math savant so solving the numbers case is simple to him; much simpler than dealing with the staff of the facility, especially Kendrick’s character Dana who shows genuine interest in the problem and wants to help. But Wolff prefers to act as a “lone wolf” and it takes barely a day for him to confirm the findings and get a lead on who might be behind them. As he gets closer to the truth though, the suspects start dying. Unknown to his employers, Wolff is not just an accountant, he’s also a professional assassin who likes to take matters into his own hands when he sees a wrong that needs to be righted. As the plot thickens Wolff is brought into conflict with another assassin hired by the person responsible for stealing the company funds. Unbeknownst to Wolff, the other assassin is his estranged brother Brax (Jon Bernthal). Naturally the two meet in the film’s climax, but what will be the results?
Very few actors are as polarizing to audiences as Ben Affleck. He’s one of those actors who it seems people either love or hate. I’m probably in the minority here, because I’m more “middle of the road” with him. I haven’t seen that many of his films, but of those that I did see, there were some I liked, and some I didn’t. I really liked him in Gone Girl where I think he did a tremendous job of making me forget he was Ben Affleck. I didn’t really like him in Argo, where I found his directing solid, but his own performance very bland, and very “Ben Affleck”. Here though I enjoyed him. His performance was confident, and once again, he didn’t seem too “Ben Affleck” for the part. He clearly did his research when it came to playing an autistic character, and he was very expressive in his performance. The action scenes too were very good, and kept me entertained and engaged. I really like Anna Kendrick, and she was her usual fun and slightly quirky self in the role as a junior accountant, but she may have been a little underutilized, and at the same time a little forced into the script. J.K. Simmons as a director at the Treasury Department who has been on Wolff’s trail for years (but not exactly for the reasons we expect) was excellent as always. I’ll go out of my way to watch any movie with J.K. in it, no matter how small his role. A real treat in The Accountant was Jon Bernthal as Brax. I had only known him as Shane from the first few seasons of The Walking Dead, and didn’t really have an opinion of him one way or another. Here, he really shined, and I don’t think the part could have been any better cast. I’ve heard good things about his performance as the Punisher in the Marvel Netflix Daredevil series which I believe has earned him a spin-off solo series, so I look forward to watching those too.
Quite entertaining, and it threw a few twists at you along the way as the suspense and the mystery deepened. Who was eliminating the fraud suspects? Wolff? Brax? It wasn’t 100% clear until the end. What were Agent King’s interests in Wolff? Did they have a past? Who was the computerized voice that appeared to be working for Wolff, but was also seemed to be giving tips to the Treasury Department? All these led to a very solid action-thriller….which is nothing what real accounting is like I’m told.
Bottom Line: The final shootout scenes reminded me a lot of John Wick, which is never a bad thing.
Martha (Anna Kendrick) has gone full-on manic since her latest breakup, until she meets Francis (Sam Rockwell). They seem like a perfect match: she’s bananas, he’s bananas… and he’s also a hitman….. a slightly offbeat hitman. Just as Martha begins to realize her new beau wasn’t joking about his choice of work, things start heating up; Francis’ services are solicited by a dubious client while Francis is being sought by a former colleague masquerading as an equally dubious FBI agent (Tim Roth). As the stakes escalate and the bullets fly, Martha needs to decide whether to flee or fight for her one true love.
I liked it, it was funny and contained some decent action. Rockwell played his part perfectly, and Anna Kendrick has quirky down pat. A darkly comedic, violence filled love story that was well played by all. The characters had good chemistry, and even though Martha and Francis hit it off instantly, it didn’t feel forced, perhaps because both characters are not just quirky, but leaning a little more towards crazy. Don’t forget Tim Roth was in the film too, and though his character was definitely darker (bordering on being the main villain) he still came across as a little quirky and crazy as well.
I am a big Sam Rockwell fan and really enjoy Anna Kendrick too, so having two of my favourite actors in a film makes watching it a no-brainer, but it can also set the bar a little high. Chocolate and peanut butter don’t always make peanut butter cups. The film was fun, but I think I wanted or maybe expected a bit more because I really like both leads. Mr. Right was a little predictable — I knew exactly what path Martha would take at the end. Now I don’t know if I can really use that “predictable” argument when critiquing movies anymore because I’ve seen a lot of movies. I mean a lot. I’ve also read a fair number of books too, so finding something entirely original that totally surprises me is becoming harder and harder.
Bottom Line: Fun, and definitely worth watching mainly for the actors, but also for some pretty good, laugh out loud dark comedy.
So it seems that “zom-rom” or is it “rom-zom” is becoming a genre now, after such films as Warm Bodies and A Little Bit Zombie, led the way. Life After Beth is one of those movies that you only pick up because of the cast but then are rewarded with a good film. I’m a big fan of John C. Reilly and Aubrey Plaza, so I went for it, and don’t regret it one bit.
Dane DeHaan plays Zach whose girlfriend Beth (Plaza) just died from a snakebite incurred while hiking. Even though Zach and Beth had been having problems and he was getting ready to move on, he’s stuck now, as the boyfriend of the deceased. Newly saddened, he begins to spend more time with Beth’s parents (John C Reilly and Molly Shannon), but soon figures out that they are keeping something from him. Sneaking around their yard he sees Beth in the house. Alive. Somehow, Beth has returned to life, looks perfectly normal, but has no memory of the time leading up to her death, or the fact that she died. In love again, Zach and Beth rekindle their romance, while Zach runs into more and more people he thought were dead. Slowly he notices Beth starting to change, she’s angered easily and has somehow gained enhanced strength. Zach questions her parents who tell him to get away and leave them and Beth alone, but he still is looking for answers, and he thinks he’s found them as he drops the Z-word. Beth is a zombie, and is quickly becoming a more typical zombie. Even though she’s developed a taste for brains and flesh, can they still date?
First, the entire cast was top notch. Great actors giving great performances. Paul Reiser as Zach’s dad, Matthew Gray Gubler as his security guard brother Kyle, Anna Kendrick as a girl Zach’s mother wants to set him up with after Beth’s death; everyone was funny. I especially liked the scenes between DeHaan and Plaza. He seemed to come across really naturally. I remember liking him in Place Beyond the Pines, but haven’t seen him in anything else. I plan to one day watch Chronicle, but have no intentions of seeing any more of the Amazing Spider-man films. I remember seeing him in the trailers for 2, and thinking he didn’t look that impressive, that could be the scripts though.
Second, there were a lot of comical scenes, and great dialogue. These scenes are what made the movie feel plausible, though in a comedic way. Life After Beth was the directing debut of Jeff Baena, previously known for writing “I Heart Huckabees”. It wasn’t an action packed zombie film, and it wasn’t as funny as Shaun of the Dead, but it was still very enjoyable.
Bottom Line: it’s been a while since I’ve done some movie reviews, hopefully some more will come easily down the pipe now that Doctor Who’s wrapping up this weekend.