Our Editors attitude to accounting is curiously flexible. Try getting him to pay your expenses and you enter a Kafkaesque world of bureaucracy yet when it comes to lunchtime drinks the petty cash box, which was full in the morning, is plundered like a charitable foundation set up by Donald Trump. But frankly accountancy is an unlikely career choice for an action film (apologies to any accountants) but this week’s new release has chosen the profession with Ben Affleck as an autistic maths genius who is also a ruthlessly efficient killer as seen in the opening scene as a whole slew of mob villains ar taken out at their office a lone gunman. Before we then find him in his own pokey office where he does his good deed for the day by carrying out some tax saving measures for a farmer and his wife . So how did this accountant by day get to be a handy hit man by night we hear no one ask? It’s all answered with regular flashbacks to his childhood that pepper the film throughout where his mental military man of a father rejects the care at a school for autistic children in favour of…..well what else…..but hand to hand martial arts in Jakarta presumably because the schools maths club was oversubscribed. It’s this back story that also gives an insight into his real identity because for the duration of the film he is a man of mystery with J K Simmons about to retire government agent on his trail determined to find out who he is and to assist him he hires Cynthia Addai-Robinson as his assistant who despite her notable criminal background, is still granted access to all level of security intelligence and only adds yet another level of incredulity to the proceedings and ultimately it turns out the Simmons agent has the key to finding out the accountants identity by his own means anyway making her role redundant. Fortunately the other notable female role is one of Lithgow’s junior accountants played by Anna Kendrick in a thankless role which she manages to pull off regardless of a hint of an unnecessary love story that thankfully is never developed never really going beyond a nicely played scene where she awkwardly makes a pass at his emotionless persona.
And whilst they’re trying to locate him Affleck is hired by John Lithgow, a CEO of a biotechnology firm to check the company books and find out who’s been dipping their sticky fingers in the company till. So you’ve got a bit of a mystery, a bit of psychodrama all wrapped up in an action film which all starts off well enough before it quickly deteriorates. At its best this has shades of Leon, Day of the Jackal and at a push a bit of Terminator with its seemingly unstoppable killing machine accountant. Unfortunately it all goes off the rails being hindered by a pointless twist this had the potential to be a far better film but is let down by its unnecessarily complex back story that has too many gaping holes to be credible and its presumed intention to launch a franchise is dealt a lethal blow with this film. Perhaps they should try Estate Agents next.
Here’s the trailer: