I may have said this before, but I was excited about this film going in. Why? Well 1, I like Ben Affleck. Recently, I have loved every movie that he’s done (Argo, Gone Girl, the Town, BvS (and yes I enjoyed that)) and I figured this would be just as enjoyable. 2, JK Simmons and Anna Kendrick are both great at what they do. And 3, it’s an original script. For funsies, I looked back at the movies I’ve reviewed this year, and learned all but 2 were either remakes, sequels, or the “based on a true story” kind of flicks. However. One of the two, Sausage Party, was my highest rated film at the time. With all that being said, let’s see how this goes.
Story: This time around, we follow an autistic man who is secretly working for dangerous criminal organizations across the globe. Well it turns out that he’s under investigation by the US Treasury Department and takes on a legitimate client to cover his tracks a bit. Things get a little crazy from there but I don’t want to ruin it because it was very good. I went in expecting a very cliched and predictable story but what I got was something pretty dang cool. Now, looking back, it did utilize some pretty common cliches, but it presents them in a combination I haven’t seen recently. It was a unique story that felt like something I haven’t seen from a movie in a while. Everything, from flashbacks to “math montages,” is done in an awesome and engaging way (and yes they made math cool and engaging). It falls a bit flat right near the climax but quickly comes back together.
Acting: I think Ben Affleck is great but usually I think it’s because his roles are great (i.e. it’s the script that’s good and not necessarily him) but in this movie, he is simply perfect. He nails the role. You can truly understand his character’s struggle with wanting to interact with people despite dealing with his autism. From his mannerisms to the level of eye contact he makes, it’s just spot on. Additionally, JK Simmons and Anna Kendrick are great and Jon Bernthal (whom I did not know was in the movie…I know his name is on the poster but he wasn’t in the trailer that I saw) was a surprise to see. Finally, Cynthia Addai-Robinson plays a small role but does it well with it. Wish I could’ve seen a little more of her but what can you do.
Presentation: The movie is well shot and the soundtrack matches the mood, whether it’s a tense shootout or a cringy flashback. It’s not spectacular but it’s good and that’s all I can ask.
Effect: Like I said in the acting section, Affleck portrays his autistic character very well and I think it’s a very good thing. I cannot recall any recent big AAA movie with a main character dealing with a neurodevelopmental disorder and it was refreshing to see a character like that who is still able to do whatever he/she wants (in this case be an accountant for criminals and a world class shooter). I’m also giving bonus points for the directing. The film had some good symbolism that I usually don’t see in popular movies.
Other: This is a fun movie. Everything about it. It’s just good. Despite the cliches, it’s a good movie. And bonus points for an original and good script.
This film has had some bad reviews (and by bad I mean average) and like with Suicide Squad, I just don’t get it. This is a good movie. It is totally worth seeing in theaters. Enjoy ladies and gents.