Ben Affleck’s latest blockbuster is this action thriller where a mundane accountant, Christian Wolff, also earns his money by, uh, ‘taking care’ of the criminal enemies of big organisations. The poster and trailer pretty heavily hints at how Affleck takes care of his adversaries, so I’ll say no more!
What sets this film apart from a standard action or thriller is the complexity of Affleck’s character, who has autism. Throughout the film, you see how this constantly affects Wolff, as well as providing added depth to a predominantly dark character and script.
Crosscutting is frequently used to show Wolff as child and his experiences with autism, as shown on screen by child actor Seth Lee. Lee establishes Wolff’s autistic traits, but Affleck fails to be consistent with these in the film’s present-day narrative. Hence, Affleck’s portrayal of an autistic person in comparison to Lee’s is rather unbelievable which creates a flaw in the film.
"J.K. Simmons’ character is undeveloped and the audience need to know more about him"
Similarly, J.K. Simmons’ character is undeveloped and the audience need to know more about him. Simmons plays Raymond King, the head of financial crimes for Washington D.C. who is trying to identify the mysterious ‘accountant’. However, Simmons and Affleck’s storylines seem completely separate, providing confusion throughout the film. When they do interact, it is a weak and jumbled encounter and this is one of the film’s downfalls.
The standout actor has to be Anna Kendrick, who provides much-needed comic relief in the film’s dull stretches through her innocent and unaware character Dana Cummings, another accountant who gets mixed up in Affleck’s encounters. Surprisingly, the awkward, amusing conversations between Affleck and Kendrick were some of the best parts of the film.
With a cast full of Oscar nominees, it was surprising this film was not better, but if you want some gripping action sequences and a few unexpected plot twists, then this is the film for you.
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