There’s an apparent school of thought with Ben Affleck as an actor, as in one with talent not just a chiseled jaw-line. There’s his early work with Kevin Smith, the one he wrote with Matt Damon, the films he directed with him in front of the camera. All fine performances. Then there’s a whole lot of lethargic, forgettable mediocre-to-junk. The Accountant is not a bad movie, but as far as marking Affleck on his ability as an actor scale, this is something of conundrum.
Affleck, as the title autistic book-keeper come kick-ass merchant, is fittingly nonchalant here given his character’s upbringing and condition, but so supposedly methodical and precise, his bland persona almost blends him into the background. Supporting players like Anna Kendrick and John Lithgow often seem lost, and are given little time to realize their own characters. Same can be said for the ineffective flashbacks, so detached in tone and narrative, they could well fall out of the movie without harming it’s endeavor.
The concept, though, is a very good one, and there are some well-executed and slick sequences. There’s also an intriguing element to endure, and a semi-captivating investigation sub-plot. Just a shame that its prosperous potential gradually slips through its own fingers. The Accountant feels long, but scenes are paced fine, if only the story-telling aspect had as much poise. The final sequence, aiming for poignant closure, only puts a long frown upon your face, imagining how moving that could have been had the characterization and plot set-up anywhere near warranted it somewhere beforehand.