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The Accountant (Blu-Ray Combo Pack) Review

January 11, 2017 | Posted by Tony Farinella
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The Accountant (Blu-Ray Combo Pack) Review  

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The Accountant is a film that probably would have been a whole lot better if Ben Affleck were behind the camera. He has become quite the director, and he really knows how to make memorable films that really pack a wallop. Sadly, that is not the case here with this movie, directed by Gavin O’ Connor, no slouch in his own right, and the blame does not totally fall on him. There is a screenplay that is at times overly complicated, convoluted, and throws in so many twists, that one tends to just throw their hands up and wait for the whole thing to be over with, as it is just too much to believe. As is usually the case, the screenwriter holds the keys.

Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, and he is an accountant with a high functioning form of Autism. This has plagued him since he was a kid, but in many ways, it makes him meticulous to details and incredibly smart. It also makes it hard to maintain eye contact, have friends/relationships, and have any kind of connection with a human being. His father has also trained him how to defend himself in a number of ways, so he is never the victim and no one can ever put him in a position where they can hurt him.

He has an office where he does his accounting work, but he also does a little work on the side for criminal groups as well. He keeps a trailer inside of a storage unit, where he has a variety of guns, paintings, and cash. Because he is so smart and intelligent, it is very unlikely that anything is going to get past him or his cover is going to get blown. He knows all of the details. However, he does decide to work for a robotics company because they have noticed their books are not quite right and there is about sixty million dollars missing. A clerk, played by Anna Kendrick, discovered the missing money from their books. She is pretty smart in her own right, which impresses the not easily impressed Christian Wolff.

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Meanwhile, there is a woman hot on the trails of Christian Wolff, and she is being pushed by Ray King (J.K. Simmons) of the Treasury Department to find out as much as she can. As one can imagine from reading this review, there is a lot going on, and the first forty-five minutes or so of the film are pretty entertaining, especially with such a talented cast that also includes Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, and Jean Smart. The film should have, quite frankly, kept it straightforward and had a narrative that was more plausible as it went on even longer.

This is said because as the last half hour to forty-five minutes of the movie wrap things up, there are a lot of twists revealed that totally come out of left field and bog the film down. Ben Affleck does a tremendous job with his performance, but the so-called connection he has with Anna Kendrick feels forced and is meant to try and humanize him. They should have kept him the way he was instead of trying to make him something friendlier for the audience and more relatable. It does not feel real to the person that he is in terms of how he goes about his day-to-day business.

The flashbacks are also rather distracting and annoying as well. Sometimes in film, it is great when it stops and allows the audience to play catch up, but here, it feels as though they have kept information from the audience to shock and awe them. Some of the twists were surprising and others could be seen coming from a mile away. This is one of the more frustrating films of 2016 because one could see this being a really, really good movie with all the talent involved and the premise, but the screenwriter tries to do way too much and the director has troubling with the pacing of the flick. This one is a bummer because of the people attached to it.

Blu-Ray Info: The Accountant is released on a two-disc Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital HD combo pack from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. It comes with an UltraViolet Digital HD copy as well. It runs at 128 minutes and is rated R for strong violence and language throughout.

Video Info: The film is released on a 1080p High Definition 16×9 2.4:1 format, which is my preferred form of viewing Blu-Rays. It looks really sharp, vivid, and bright. It has a really impressive look to it that stands out.

Audio Info: The Audio formats are DTS-HD MA: English 7.1 & 5.1, 5.1 English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital: French 5.1 (Dubbed in Quebec), and Spanish 5.1. Subtitles are in English, Spanish, and French. There are absolutely no issues with the audio here as it is consistent throughout the film in terms of not having to turn up the volume on my TV. This is still especially preferable during the action and fight sequences.

Special Features:

Inside The Man (10:38): Many of the actors talk about Affleck’s performance, and Affleck talks about how it was a different role for him. He wanted it to be honest and real. There are also interviews with the producers, the director, the screenwriter, and the production designer. They talk about how they didn’t want the character to be a victim and they wanted to use his skills to his advantage. The production designer and the director talk about how they wanted his trailer to feel very contained. I believe I saw director Gavin O’ Connor wearing the hat of my favorite football team, The Green Bay Packers, but it is still not enough to give this film a positive review.

Behavioral Science (08:04): Gavin is here along with a woman that works with people on the Autism spectrum. The producers, Affleck, and Anna Kendrick discuss some of the research that Ben did and how he approached it from a scientific perspective. Ben did some solid research for this role.

The Accountant in Action (07:14): This focuses more on the action in the film, and the stunt coordinators get their due on this special feature. They worked with Gavin on Warrior, one of my favorite flicks of 2011. Ben Affleck was very hard working and had to get a little leaner as he was a big strong guy. He worked diligently on his training.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
The Accountant might just be one of the most disappointing films of 2016. There is something here with its premise and its lead. Ben Affleck has really established himself as a great actor and a director. Even though he is the actor here, I had faith that Gavin O’ Connor would be a worthy director. Again, he is not totally to blame, but he does overstuff the flick with its bloated running time and pacing and the screenwriter overdoes with trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the audience. They really waste Ben Affleck’s performance and dedication to his craft here, which is a real shame. Anna Kendrick is a good actress, but her “love story” of sorts with the Affleck character was way too “Hollywood” for my liking. The audio and the visual aspects of the film are solid as are the special features, but I walked away from this one feeling a major sense of disappointment, as mentioned. This should have been better and could have been better. They dropped the ball on this one. This is a Redbox rental on a rainy night.

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The Accountant, Tony Farinella