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The Accountant: A Fascinating Character Study that’s Let Down by a Generic Third Act

The Accountant, which is a strong contender for the dullest movie title, is a schizophrenic oddity of a film. Featuring an intriguing premise and an incredibly talented cast, The Accountant is incredibly frustrating experience, as the film ultimately falls short of its strong first and second act.

The Accountant is an action thriller starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal and is directed by Gavin O’Connor, who made the excellent MMA drama Warrior. The film revolves around a freelance accountant called Christian Wolff who suffers from autism and also runs the books for criminal organisations. After a series of events, Christian finds himself protecting a young accountant, who slowly learns about Christian’s traumatic past.

It would be very easy and obvious to describe the film as Good Will Hunting (also starring Affleck) meets the Bourne trilogy. However, for the first 40 minutes of the film, it’s very much a character study of a troubled man looking to connect, and this is the section of the film that works. Affleck is really terrific, and really adds depth and complexity to a character that could easily be irritating and over-the-top. The treatment of mental health, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, is sure to spark debate but the film never feels exploitative or condescending towards the subject.

Unfortunately, the film falls on its feet in the last 30 minutes or so, where really convenient and rather poor revelations are made, and the film becomes much more of a generic action-film. Furthermore, Anna Kendrick and J.K. Simmons are given quite thankless roles and don’t feel like fully fleshed-out characters.

The Accountant is a good action-thriller that frustratingly falls short of greatness, due to a poor third act; but it’s still very much worth watching, for both Affleck’s performance and the unique premise.

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