Director: Gavin O'Connor
Score: Mark Isham
It's good to see Gavin O'Connor again, especially after being a little disappointed with this year's Jane Got A Gun but that's possibly because I was expecting so much more after his MMA epic, Warrior.
Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, an autistic savant who burns books for the worlds most undesirable clients and appears to be the last bookworm you would ever want to upset. But he isn't exactly a villain, more so someone who simply takes advantage of the business opportunities afforded to someone with those many specific talents.
Though being quite an original character, he seems to be an amalgamation of a lot of cinema's heavy hitters. He's like The Jackal with the action style of John Wick and a moral code similar to John Woo's Killer, but with the brain power of Will Hunting; less the ego and attitude.
There's an air of mystery behind this Wolff character, leaving very little trace of his past but we're given hints in forms of flashbacks which eventually piece together to a much larger puzzle. His handler reminds me of Hitman's agent 47, receiving instructions and intel from a well spoken woman via smart phone who helps him stay one step ahead of hunting treasury agents, J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
He takes a fairly low key job when compared to the rest of his recent résumé of terrorists, drug cartels and crime syndicates. Getting to the bottom of a corporate accounting leak that was discovered by Dana, Anna Kendrick which leads to a much deeper and dangerous plot.
The action is sharp, slick and precise but it leaves you wanting to see more. That actually being a good thing though; leaving the cinema wanting to see more of a character is certainly a strong point. It's actually comical in parts too, as we watch Wolff awkwardly interact with the people around, something I wasn't expecting.
The sound is deafeningly good, like how a good actioner should sound, with each powerful gunshot hitting target. The soundtrack is minimal but a good use of Bach's Cello Suite No.3 and Sean Rowe's "To Leave Something Behind." Mark Isham does a good score, being sombre and haunting at the same time giving the film another dynamic. The track "Trial of Solomon Grundy" is amazing with it's running strings building up to a climatic end to then drop back peacefully with a soft piano.
It's slightly predictable but not entirely and actually quite clever when looking back at it, makes me want to watch it again. There's actually a lot more to the story than what the trailer suggests, with more than one subplot going on without it getting too messy.
It's a great film with a great character that's superbly played by Affleck. It's great story telling too and the mystery unfolds and things quickly fall into place making sense of a plot that didn't add up, but once you do the math, it's a masterful story.
Running Time: 10
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for being so much more than what the trailer suggests.
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes! Can't wait to watch it again.