Tag Archives: Bourne

The Accountant (2016)

Ever wondered what the Bourne movies would have been like had they cast Ben Affleck instead of Matt Damon? Well, The Accountant is probably about as close as you’re gonna get.

Directed by the acclaimed director of Warrior, Gavin O’Connor, The Accountant stars Affleck as a highly functional autistic mathematics genius named Christian, who makes a living uncooking the books of some of the most dangerous criminals in the world.

Christian’s world is turned upside down when he ends up working on a new case for a company run by John Lithgow, and finds himself in mortal danger along with the young company employee who found a discrepancy in the company’s books (Anna Kendrick). Pursuing him is Oscar-winner JK Simmons, playing a Treasury agent, with the assistance of a junior data analyst (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), as well as a hitman played by Jon Bernthal.

One important fact I forgot to mention in the above synopsis is that Christian is also a Jason Bourne/John Wick-type ass-kicker who is incredible with a sniper rifle and deadly in hand-to-hand combat. Don’t freak out — there is an explanation for this, but it sure does elevate the threshold for suspension for disbelief.

And that’s the really just one of the many problems of The Accountant — it takes itself a little too seriously for a premise you’re more likely to see in a comic book movie. There are moments of humour and levity, but for the most part O’Connor keeps the film as a straight action-thriller, and as a result there’s a bit of a disconnect. This is particularly so as the film moves into the final act and there are a few plot twists and reveals — the first  is telegraphed from very early on and not a surprise at all, and the second, which comes at the very end, is pretty ridiculous.

My other main problem with it is the casting of Anna Kendrick, who could not be a worse match for Ben Affleck. The two just look so wrong together on screen, and even decent performances from both can’t make the chemistry work. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Affleck’s acting, though here he is good enough because he simply needs to be expressionless or dopey-looking the majority of the time. I do have to say that he executes the action sequences flawlessly (maybe it’s the Batman training) and makes you believe that he really has all those moves.

Weirdly, not withstanding all the flaws, I actually really enjoyed The Accountant. I thought the premise and concept were intriguing and the plot itself compelling enough to keep my interest. The action scenes were also extremely well done, nearly on par with what you might see in a Bourne film. I just had to take a step back and treat it as more or less a superhero movie — not of the fantastical Thor or Iron Man nature but more grounded, like say Netflix’s Daredevil or Luke Cage — and I soon found it highly watchable and entertaining. Go in with reasonable expectations and you might too.

3.75 stars out of 5

Movie Review: Green Zone (2010)

There have been a lot of movies made about the (latest) Iraq war in recent years, but not many I know of have tried to tackle the controversial threshold issue — the existence (or non-existence) of WMDs — that started the war in the first place.

Green Zone, featuring director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon (they previously collaborated on The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum) is a very clever movie that blends the Iraq WMD conspiracy/debacle with a cracking plot and high octane action.

It tells the story of US Army Chief Roy Miller (Damon), who stumbles across a possible conspiracy involving WMDs in Iraq, and those who will do anything to stop the truth from being revealed.

The script is supposedly “inspired” by the non-fiction book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, which I haven’t read (and don’t intend do), but I understand it does not take any sides.  The film, on the other hand, makes it pretty clear what it thinks of the war.

However, it would be wrong to focus on the political message in Green Zone.  I liked how fact and fiction intertwined in this movie, but it’s the suspenseful action that made it a highly enjoyable experience.

I didn’t mind the cliched, archetypal characters or the unlikely “local” helper thrown into the mix to add a more emotional element to the film.  After all, it is an action movie.  But what did irritate me was Greengrass’s overuse of the vomit cam.  I know what’s his style — I’ve seen his Bourne movies — but it was overkill for me.  Used in moderation, it can add voyeuristic realism and tension.  However, there was no need to have the camera hover around like a faulty UFO on just about every scene, even when all that’s on screen is two people standing around having a chat, or a close up of a person’s face.

On the whole, Green Zone is 115 minutes of solid, interesting entertainment that is mostly made up, but it still makes you wonder how much of it, if any, is true.

4 out of 5 stars!