Ac­coun­tant not by-the-num­bers fare

Central Otago Mirror - - CONCERTS -

Don’t be fooled by the ti­tle – The Ac­coun­tant is vi­o­lent fun, punc­tu­ated by laugh out loud mo­ments and un­ex­pect­edly strong drama.

Surely a fran­chise starter, the film builds a con­sis­tent world that’s at turns re­al­is­tic and ridicu­lous, and, in an un­usual turn of events, chooses not to ham-fist­edly spell ev­ery sin­gle thing out for its au­di­ence.

For­tu­nately, given how silly it can get.

De­spite jug­gling a po­ten­tially fa­tal num­ber of com­pet­ing el­e­ments – com­ing across as a Franken­steined hy­brid of John Wick and A Beau­ti­ful Mind with hints of the over-se­ri­ous­ness of Zack Sny­der (yet some­how in a good way) – whether by ac­ci­dent or de­sign, The Ac­coun­tant strikes an ever-watch­able bal­ance.

As his char­ac­ter – a high­func­tion­ing autis­tic ac­coun­tancy whiz and arse-kicker – sug­gests, Af­fleck has plenty to work with, in­clud­ing the chal­lenge of not go­ing full Sim­ple Jack with his per­for­mance.

He’s not ter­ri­bly suc­cess­ful at hid­ing his movie star charisma be­hind an af­fected re­move, but is aided con­sid­er­ably by the fact that as Chris­tian Wolff he’s not gun­ning for an Os­car, but a bunch of bad dudes.

And do­ing so in the role of some­one who’s suc­cess­fully learned to pass as ‘‘Joe av­er­age’’ – for the most part.

Though we’re spared a pre­dictable ro­man­tic sub­plot (where it would fit in this long-ish jum­ble is any­one’s guess), there’s still plenty to en­joy about Af­fleck’s screen time with Anna Ken­drick, the strong­est of a sup­port­ing cast that’s al­most uni­formly un­der­used.

That doesn’t get in the way of en­joy­ing The Ac­coun­tant, though – its som­bre sa­vant is star enough, backed up with solid ac­tion se­quences and plenty of in­ter­est­ing el­e­ments jostling for at­ten­tion – in a man­ner that couldn’t be fur­ther from rote, ris­i­ble fare such as the re­cent Jack Reacher se­quel. – Steve Ne­wall

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