The Accountant (2016)
As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
I had such a fun time with The Accountant, it wasn’t what I expected at all. Filled out with a very effective story and great cast, including Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal and Jon Lithgow to name a few, this was one of the best thrillers I’ve seen in years.
Ben Affleck was as good as I’ve seen him, what a great character to sink his teeth into, so many layers. Playing an autistic accountant who happens to be a master with guns and at martial arts, I loved the journey he took us on. Christian Wolff is right up there with John Wick as a character I love and want to see more of. I’ve never been the biggest Anna Kendrick fan but she surprised me too, playing the dorky love interest but not in your typical way. Jon Bernthal has to get a mention too, I always enjoy seeing him, such a great screen presence and he doesn’t disappoint here.
The action was superb, lots of great gun fights, hand to hand combat and martial arts training straight out of The Raid playbook. A few twists and turns along the way, and the way it all wraps up was pretty smart I felt. The whole thing looked crisp and flowed nicely, I genuinely can’t find much to fault with this film. It’s been announced they are moving forwards with The Accountant 2, I just hope they can follow in the footsteps of John Wick 2 & The Raid 2 and make a worthy sequel.
Black Butterfly (2017)
Outside a mountain town grappling with a series of abductions and murders, Paul (Antonio Banderas), a reclusive writer, struggles to start what he hopes will be a career-saving screenplay. After a tense encounter at a diner with a drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Paul offers Jack a place to stay-and soon the edgy, demanding Jack muscles his way into Paul’s work. As a storm cuts off power to the isolated cabin, the two men begin a jagged game of one-upmanship that will bring at least one tale to an end.
I could write so much about Black Butterfly, but the very final scene just took away any love I had, and frustrated me so much my motivation disappeared and anger took over. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I mean. Maybe it’s just me (it’s not, Roger Ebert’s site reviewer gave this a much harsher review than I will) but I can’t comprehend why they ended it like that. I was really on board with this story, enjoying the twists and turns and trying to predict where the story was going, and as the final act revealed itself I was surprised in a good way, and felt the ending (or what I thought was the ending) really made the film. Our lead duo were engaging throughout, and Piper Perabo pops up now and then, but it’s all about our main two in the story. Then there was a quick couple second reveal as the credits rolled and that ruined it all. So I’m done, it lost me, and I’d love the blu-ray release to have an option to watch without that horrible ending. Such a shame.
An American backpacker gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver, though he winds up on the run from his employers across Cologne high-speed Autobahn.
I’m assuming for a movie that cost a reported $21 million most of that went on hiring two Knight Bachelors, Sir Anthony Hopkins & Sir Ben Kingsley. I can’t figure out why else they would appear in something this generic. Surely their agents can find them better work than this.
Anyway, the plot has us following Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones in the routine boy must escape from bad men whilst trying to save the girl who needs an operation. It’s hard not to be too critical, it just feels like this plot has been done thousands of times before and a lot better. To be fair our lead pair do fine with what they are given, it just all felt a little bland. No real chemistry, not much of a threat, generic plot and bad guys and two icons of our time reduced to turning up for a pay cheque.
On the positive side, the car chases were good, it looked nice and well shot if you don’t detest the odd bit of shaky cam, I just didn’t come away from it feeling I’d enjoyed any part of it. Certainly nothing too memorable, an ok way to pass some time I guess but it felt about 20 minutes too long and it’s not something I’m in a rush to watch again. A shame really, as I was keen to watch this as the directors (Eran Creevy) previous film Welcome To The Punch was something I really enjoyed, and the man can clearly do action. Hopefully his next attempt is something more in line with his previous work.