Ben Affleck's action flick, The Accountant arrives on blu-ray this week giving those who missed it in theaters the chance to check it out, but is the movie worth the purchase, or destined for the RedBox void? Come inside to see my thoughts on the newest release.
I missed out on The Accountant in theaters though the trailers certainly look intriguing enough. As such, I was interested to check out the blu-ray when WB was kind enough to send it my way. As you've gathered from the trailers and TV spots for the film, the movie is about a man who's more than he seems. Ostensibly, Affleck's character, Christian Wolff (though it's established early on it's only an alias) is an accountant, but one whose actual career involves working for dangerous crime families around the globe.
On top of being a wizard with numbers, he's highly trained in combat/weapons. Anyone who crosses his moral code finds themselves on the bad end of an ass-whooping/killing. His sense of morals is one of the first things we get to see in the movie, and establishes the character as a decent person who just so happens to do some bad things. It's an interesting dynamic, and set up for the character.
In the film, he's hired for a legitimate contract to discover discrepancies for a major electronics business (which mainly creates top of the line prosthetics), and his delving into those numbers, which does a great job of showing his prowess quickly, uncovers a far more sinister plot. One which puts him and the company's accounting clerk, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) in the crosshairs of some dangerous killers. What follows is an action-packed romp where Christian has to use his skills to uncover the bigger plot and put a stop to the people hunting him and Dana.
The movie is much more of a slow-burn story than I expected, giving audiences ample time to learn more about the character and try to solve the plot along with the characters. It's a really intriguing concept with a lot of time given to building up Affleck's character...though it tends to ignore everyone else along the way. I mean, he's really the only character given any sort of attention and reasons to connect with him. Considering he's the titular character that makes sense, but makes it difficult to care about any of the other characters and their side-plots.
The real problem comes from the final act of the film, in which all things come to a head. There are points that we're obviously supposed to feel some sort of emotional impact, but the lack of fleshing out for other characters makes that difficult. Not to mention the ending feels a little...anti-climatic. The first three-quarters of the film feels like it's leading up to some major confrontation. While it technically does happen, it's not in the way you expect and feels a little empty because of it.
Some may take issue with the fact that the reason Affleck's character is able to do the things he does, is due to his high functioning Autism. In a lot of ways, the film does a pretty excellent job showing the reality of Autism and how it presents itself, while in other ways it seems to miss the mark. I honestly can't remember if it's something brought up in the trailers for the film, so if you weren't aware of this detail, I'm just telling you now. I don't think it's done in a bad way, and seems spot on for the most part, but others may not enjoy the interpretation.
On the whole, I enjoyed The Accountant far more than I was expecting. It has some great action moments, and the story is engaging and I liked how it took a slower storytelling approach rather than constant action. I only wish the final act had tied things up more neatly. As it stands it's a big building that sort of falls flat. Even so it has some solid enjoyable moments.
For a little more detail on the overall film, be sure to check out Matt’s review from the film’s theatrical release.
Sight and Sound
The blu-ray itself is presented solidly in high definition. The color palette isn’t exactly large, and the film sticks to basic tones throughout, leaning heavily on darker greys and what not, but it comes through crisp and clear on the screen. The blacks are deep, which is great, considering the amount of grey and darker tone in the film. The deep blacks make even the darker scenes stand out with great clarity.
The sound design is equally solid, though I won't say anything in particular seems to stand out from it. There's a fairly dynamic range of in the film between low talking, whispered chants, and the bombastic action sequences. The blu-ray does a great job of balancing these elements, giving each the priority needed for you to absorb all that's going on. In all the audio and video presentation of The Accountant blu-ray is pretty damn solid. It's a great transfer from the screen to home, but it doesn't necessarily go beyond that.
The Bonus Features
The Accountant blu-ray comes with these special features loaded on the disc:
Inside the Man
The Accountant in Action
As you can see...there's not a lot here. The featurettes are pretty standard, offering some behind the scenes looks at the story and character, without fleshing things out too much. It feels incredibly light and doesn't add enough to the overall blu-ray to warrant more than a single viewing. Heck, you could skip them entirely and be just fine.
It's kind of a bummer, but honestly, I can't think of much else they could have thrown in. The film has some solid action sequences, but nothing that leaves you wondering how in the hell the filmmakers pulled it off. As such, there's just not a lot of extra area to explore for bonuses, and these feel like the bare minimum.