I love movies with great casts. The Accountant, by all standards, looked to be one of those films featuring performances from some of the best – and surely most popular – actors of the twenty-first century. Ben Affleck. Anna Kendrick. J.K. Simmons. Jeffrey Tambor. John Lithgow. But, movies with great casts always run the risk of under-utilizing their talented performers and, sadly, The Accountant turns out to be one of those movies. While Affleck turns in an excellent performance in the central role, and J.K. Simmons positively captivates in every scene – especially elevating one sequence which is essentially one long exposition dump dramatically – Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow are given far too little to do. And Anna Kendrick isn’t very believable as an accountant either.
But, even if reduced to marginalized roles, the cast turn in good performances complimenting a fine, original script. For much of the plot’s runtime, The Accountant is able to not only keep the audience’s full attention, but at times subvert their expectations. But, just when one is thinking that he or she has found an original, intelligent crime thriller, The Accountant falls back on age-old, worn-out clichés, sadly making a lot of what has just transpired seem quite anticlimactic. And then, when one applies a little more thought to what they have seen, they realize that the film’s non-linear story-telling actually presented a fairly simple story in a needlessly complicated manner.
That is not to say that The Accountant fails, however. It’s a good movie, to be sure, and, even in its underwhelming final act, is able to introduce a twist or two which is able to show that the smarter edge which persisted so long in the film is not entirely gone. The Accountant certainly aimed to thrill, but seems to have just missed its mark.