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The Accountant (2016)

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Never Mind The Pollock

They say there are two sure things in life: death and taxes. Well, add to that terrible movies starring Ben Affleck. When he’s not multi-hyphenate and playing in movies he wrote/directed, the man’s filmography is a dumpster. Please consider the latest exhibit for now, a movie with a title so dull Bill Dubuque, the writer, felt compelled to overcompensate its lack of appeal with such a saturation of content that the result feels like a game of checking Hollywood boxes. Shall we?

1. Asperger genius hero, check. Benaffleck is such a wizz kid that he does puzzles face down in completely useless flashbacks and has an eidetic memory for numbers so he becomes a forensic accounting consultant, able to track the one inconsistant line in 15 years of fiscal declarations, providing you let him write on the doors and windows. Also, he has Asperger because he finds his Pollock so soothing he hung it on the ceiling of his secret trailer. Also, he’s a genius because he listens to the Bach cello suites. Also, he’s a sniper and a ninja. Also he has no sex life. Genius.

2. Dysfunctional family, check. You would think that after an Asperger kid or two, an average American couple would stop procreating, but no, this one give birth to a contract killer as the cherry on the cake. This, at least, allows the movie to end up on a bad bromance instead of a happy family reunion. John Bernthal plays a convincing thug, in turns threatening and childish. He’s, let’s face it, much better than Benaffleck, who robotically goes through the moves like he’s holding a fart. “Heavy sigh”, as would say the mysterious female voice on the phone Benaffleck keeps calling. Let’s call her Siri not to spoil the ending.

3. Violence but no sex, check. Benaffleck, for all his big guns and pairs of grenades, doesn’t have genitalia, so cue in mousy Anna Kendrick, typecast, playing, yes, a kooky accountant who first got a whif of the fishy play supposed to propel the inexistant plot. She’s Plain Jane, talking about her prom dress when he brings her in a hotel suite and she gets all titillated, or counter-asking “Tell me it’s not an original Pollock?” when she invades his privacy, overlooking the Renoir as if was a Pirelli calendar. Also, everyone knows everyone else in the fiscal business, proof is there is another woman in hot pursuit of Benaffleck, but didn’t we all know about that already?

4. Vicious villain in power, check. The problem with casting John Lithgow is, there is no big suspense about who’s the rotten apple in the fruit cart. So the movie can hilariously attempt at A Beautiful Mind in the company conference room, bring out the big guns with Jeffrey Tambor in an orange jumpsuit or, even better, JK Simmons uttering the best line of the movie, “I was old ten years ago” (which he could print on his business card as an abstract of his resumé), well, the villain is still John Lithgow. Who got shot in the face for interrupting the bromance between Benaffleck and his younger brother. Take that, evil John Lithgow!

Full to the brim with gratuitous violence and heralding a multiple Oscar winner sex symbol as the anal retentive hero who never gets laid, The Accountant is Hollywood at its best/worst. Ladies and gentlemen, we just got our new Clint Eastwood, may he live long and direct.

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