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WHAT'S NEW AT THE MOVIES?
Yes, I pretty much followed along with the mess-with-the numbers story of this accountant, a math genius with Asperger’s Syndrome who’s also, by the way, a super-human killing machine. And yes, I know that the buffed up Ben Affleck leads a top heavy roster of actors too good for the material. And yes, I also admit that, for at least part of the film, there is a level of entertainment to be had. But here’s what I don’t get: what’s the sum of the parts here? Are we supposed to look at the end game as just another super hero victory for an initial weakling? Are we to think that Hollywood and the audience has no patience for a story line about a person on the spectrum so it’s got to get zoomed up with cartoonish violence? Yeah, probably.
The set up here is actually kind of intriguing. Instead of telling us the story in a linear progression, writer Bill Dubuque screws with the sequence, relying on flashbacks from quite a few characters. At times, this is kind of interesting, as we analyze and try to balance the books on just what’s going on. But, as we slip from character study to ho-hum hyped up violence, I, for one, found myself not caring anymore. After all, the thrust of the thing disintegrates into brainless entertainment. Unless, of course, you count the brains splattered all over the screen.
Until it all falls apart, Affleck reminds us of the really good actor he is and he is nicely supported by Anna Kendrick and Jon Bernthal, as well as the underused J.K. Simmons and Jeffrey Tambor. But the sum of this puzzler is far less than the total of it’s periodically promising parts.