‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ and ‘The Accountant’

By on October 26, 2016

Cruise vs. Affleck

I have to admit, I forgot all about “Jack Reacher. Reacher,” played by Tom Cruise, which first hit the screens in 2012 and brought in over $218 million worldwide. Reacher is the product of British author Lee Child and the second installment, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” opened this past weekend at number two at the box office, just behind “Boo! A Madea Halloween.”

The former U.S. Army major has resurfaced just in time to stumble upon a plot to cover up the assassination of two soldiers. Reacher decides to help Major Turner (Cobie Smulders, who plays Maria Hill in the Marvel Universe) who is falsely imprisoned by Col. Morgan (Holt McCallany, “Fight Club”). Morgan is trying to cover up his involvement with a private security firm. It seems this firm has been smuggling opium into the U.S. and is flooding New Orleans with deadly drugs. Reacher’s nemesis is The Hunter (newbie Patrick Heusinger, “A Beautiful Now”), another former military man with a unique set of skills.

Overall, “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” is a typical action movie. There are lots of scenes with people getting beaten up. There are car chases and explosions. It is what you would expect from a movie produced by its star, Tom Cruise. (Cruise also produced the first Reacher movie.) If you like military action and simple conspiracy stories this movie is a good fit for you. But, if you are looking for something a little bit more intelligent and action packed, go see…

Ben Affleck portrays Christian Wolff, an accountant with highfunctioning autism who gets caught up in corporate espionage, in “The Accountant.”

Ben Affleck portrays Christian Wolff, an accountant with high-functioning autism who gets caught up in corporate espionage,
in “The Accountant.”

‘The Accountant’

From the trailers, I wasn’t quite sure about “The Accountant.” I couldn’t really see Ben Affleck in a role like this and I wasn’t buying into the idiot savant turned super assassin. Then I saw the movie!

“The Accountant” is Christian Wolff (Affleck), a high functioning math wizard with autism. He keeps the food on his plate from touching and uses only one set of silverware. He finishes puzzles upside down and he has to finish them. We see early on how not being able to finish a task sends him into an uncontrollable frenzy.

As a grown man and regular member of society, Wolff works as a tax accountant. On the side, Wolff cooks the books for a number of shady and dangerous people.

He is brought in by a robotics company whose internal accountant (Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”) has found an error in the company’s books. It turns out to be a big error … more than $60 million dollars. Suddenly, high ranking employees start to die. First it’s CFO Ed Chilton (Andy Umberger, “Unstoppable”) and then Rita Blackburn (Jean Smart, “Designing Women”). Blackburn was the right-hand man to company president Lamar Black (John Lithgow, “3rd Rock from the Sun”). Then, the hired assassins turn their focus to Wolff … not a good idea.

“The Accountant” is smart, funny, and action packed. It is almost everything I want in an action film. The only drawback is that there is too much story rammed into this 128-minute movie. Having said that, I do hope there is a second film. I like this character.

We haven’t seen much of director Gavin O’Connor. He directed “Warrior” in 2012 and “Pride and Glory” in 2008. He did a better job with “Pride and Glory” than with this film.

Fittingly, “The Accountant” turns out to be a missive on autism, providing the viewer with facts about the neurodevelopmental disorder. There are some people voicing their concerns about the character and the segment of society he represents, but the theme of the movie is that it is okay to be different …which is a good thing in my opinion.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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