"Since the birth of time, humanity has endeavored to restrain evil men in prisons. But since Cain fled the murder of his brother, evil men have fled the walls of punishment. So, it doesn't matter if you're a badass motherfucker on the run, because you think you're better than everyone else and somehow entitled to do what you gotta do. No. Because, you see, badass motherfuckers are never fast enough. In the end, they will all be accounted for."
A 2011 3D action movie from the same people behind My Bloody Valentine 3 D. Nicolas Cage plays Milton, a man who has broken out of Hell to prevent the cult that murdered his daughter from sacrificing her kidnapped child to Satan. He is being pursued by the Accountant (William Fichtner), a supernatural operative of Satan who has been sent to bring Milton back to Hell. Along the way, Milton picks up a waitress named Piper (Amber Heard) in his quest to save his granddaughter.Not to be confused with braking angrily.
Anti-Hero: John Milton was a bad husband (implied spousal abuse) who broke out of Hell to kill his way towards rescuing his baby granddaughter. Piper qualifies as well, being a female Sir Swears-a-Lot among other things.
Asshole Victim: Piper's boyfriend is described as such by the Accountant; he claims only his mother will miss him.
Badass in Distress: Piper, but both times she gets herself out of it. She fights through a mook and Jonah to take a flying leap out of a moving vehicle onto the hood of another moving vehicle, and later lifts the Godkiller off of the supernaturally-powered Accountant.
BFG: The Godkiller, a five-barrel Hand Cannon that can blow stuff up real good, and is the only thing capable of killing demons. Milton stole it from Satan on his way out of Hell.
Book Ends: The film starts with Milton speeding his way out of Hell and ends with him going back in.
Bounty Hunter: The Accountant operates like one, hunting down those who have escaped Hell to bring them back. Though he doesn't work for money.
Brick Joke: At one point, Milton turns down a beer, saying that the next alcoholic drink he's gonna have will be from Jonah King's skullcap. At the end, he's literally using Jonah's skull as a drinking cup.
Cardboard Prison: It's said that John isn't the first to break out of Hell, and he won't be the last. Although it's implied that whenever someone escapes from Hell, someone like the Accountant hunts them down and eventually drags them back. For example, his reply when Piper threatens to kill him in order to stop him from taking Milton:
"Someone else will come. Someone else always comes."
Cop Killer: Piper killed two policemen who were unknowingly enlisted by the Accountant, posing as an FBI Agent. When the state troopers put up a road block for Piper and Milton, their leader notes that two of their own have been killed and in order to get even instructs the cops to aim for the suspects' heads.
Epic Battle Boredom: Both Milton and the Accountant pull this. Milton mows down a bunch of would-be assassins while having sex, and the Accountant causes a massive explosion in the middle of a roadblock while head-bopping to "That's the Way I Like It."
Even Evil Has Standards: Remarkably, of all people, the Devil isn't really depicted as evil at all. The Accountant describes him as a well-educated guy who made one big mistake and, as punishment, has to spend eternity as the warden of the universe's worst prison. And as if that weren't bad enough, he has cults and madmen committing wanton acts of murder and claiming that he made them do it. He also despises those who murder children, especially when they claim to do it in his name. The Accountant himself, upon learning what the cult has planned for Milton's grandchild, lets Milton complete his mission before making him come back.
Every Car Is a Pinto: Every time The Accountant's hydrogen truck bumps into a police car, it almost always explodes for some reason.
Faking the Dead: Milton, despite already being dead and eventually shrugging off a bullet through the eye, manages to pull this off in order to get Piper to leave him behind and take his granddaughter with her. The Accountant claims he's seen better performances.
Hell, obviously. Milton's punishment was being forced to watch his loved ones suffer. In the case of his daughter, witness her being brutally murdered and her body defiled.
The effect of the Godkiller. No Heaven. No Hell. No anything. You literally cease to exist.
Fish out of Temporal Water: Milton is shown to have been dead since at least The Nineties and it shows, given how he seems a bit bewildered at how the world's changed. Not that it stops him from doing what he has to do.
Forced to Watch: This is what punishment in Hell is. All day, every day, you're forced to watch the suffering of your loved ones, with no way to intervene or block it out.
Generic Name: According to the script, the three generic mooks that Milton executes in the beginning are literally referred to as "Fucking Passenger", "Fucking Middle" and "Fucking Driver".
Good Thing You Can Heal: The dead and demonic can slowly regenerate damage. The only exception? Wounds from the Godkiller.
Gorn: Hands blown off, kneecaps blown out, bullets in the eye...and all in glorious 3D!
Groin Attack: Jonah King killed Milton's daughter's husband and forced her to give him a blowjob at gunpoint after taking her baby girl from her to use in a sacrifice. She bites off his dick in response, after which he cuts off her head. Milton and Piper keep calling him "dickless" in reference to this.
Heel-Face Turn: the cultist charged with holding on to Milton's granddaughter eventually refuses to give her up
Hoist by His Own Petard: Minor example: Jonah's necklace, the "symbol of power" behind his "Satanic pact," is used against him. Twice.
I Love the Dead: When Piper puts up too much of a fight for Jonah King's liking after he and his cult kidnapped her, he tries to kill her and decides to defile her corpse afterwards.
Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Played with. Point blank while both were standing still, Jonah managed to execute one of his mooks and blow out Milton's eye with a single bullet apiece. When aiming at a windshield four to seven feet away on a car that's currently keeping pace, Jonah closes his eyes, turns his head and unloads as fast as he could by fanning the hammer. This tends to follow with every attempt on the good guys, except for plot points such as Milton shrugging off the cop's torso shot.
All of Jonah's shots hit the hood or grill and the car dies seconds later, so perhaps he's a better (or luckier) shot than it appears.
Ironic Hell: There's fire and burning in Hell, but the worst part is that you're forced to watch the suffering of your loved ones and you're completely unable to do anything about it. Or at least most of the time, as some people apparently get angry enough to break out.
William Fichtner is clearly having a lot of fun every moment he appears on screen.
Billy Burke as well.
Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted when Piper fires the Godkiller at the cultists. Milton doesn't have this problem, but then again, this isa guy who fought his way out of Hell.
Like a Badass out of Hell: Milton. Specifically referenced by The Accountant in the opening narration, albeit including the appellation "motherfucker."
Love Redeems: Toyed with. While Milton's whole motive is born of love and the desire to rescue his granddaughter, the film makes it clear that Milton is perfectly aware that, given the way he lived his life, he probably deserved to end up in Hell.
Marked Bullet: The bullets for the Godkiller all have Deus Velox Nex inscribed on them, which is loosely translated into: God's swift [violent] death.
Offscreen Teleportation: When The Accountant goes from a forest to the diner, when Milton gets from the diner to outside it to just by where Piper's car stops, how The Accountant seems to easily keep pace on foot while everyone's racing around in cars and ignoring speed limits and traffic safety laws, and when The Accountant and Milton vanish while Piper and Webster both glance at the baby for Milton's fake death, then when they re-appear afterwards.
Oh, Crap: The Accountant's reaction when he realizes that Milton is in possession of the Godkiller.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Amber Heard does a consistent job on her Texan accent until the end; she was unable to cry and keep her twang at the same time. Ironic seeing as she's Texan.
Our Demons Are Different: Satan is said to be well-versed and an all-around pleasant guy who finds nothing quite as irritating as when babies are sacrificed in his name. Also applies to the Accountant, as he seems to be a pretty nice guy, all things considered. He even lets John drive his car back to Hell while he sits in the passenger seat.
Pay Evil unto Evil: Milton, to an extent, who is something of an edgy Nineties Antihero version. He slaughters the cultists en masse and shows absolutely no mercy towards them, especially their leader Jonah King, whom he erases from existence with the Godkiller and uses his skull to drink some beer from. The villains are really bad to make this serviceable. These people are a baby-sacrificing cult, and King is a sadistic rapist, murderer and power-tripping maniac.
Pet the Dog: John Milton was a bad man, a criminal, and a terrible husband. But he really did love his daughter, and he has enough affection for Webster to keep him from going with him on either of his suicide missions.
Product Placement: If you want directions to the hiding place of an evil Satanic cult about to sacrifice an innocent baby, Google Maps is the only way to go.
Punch Clock Villain: The Accountant and surprisingly, even Satan, who simply carry out their duties without malice.
Psychopomp: The Accountant seems to be an unusually aggressive version of this; instead of guiding souls to their destination after their initial death, he's sent out specifically for "repeat offenders." This is further emphasized by his Swiss-Army-coin being a reference to, among other things, the fee needed for Charon's services. Although he does know exactly when people will die, which seems to imply that he does normally guide the souls of the dead to the Afterlife (or at least Hell) in his regular capacity. He has no problem bumping up that date if it suits him, though.
Refuge in Audacity: This is how Milton stole the Godkiller. The Accountant is amazed that he managed to steal it, to which Milton replies that he simply walked in and took it.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Basically why Milton broke out of Hell, as well as the plot. Also (sort of) the reason claimed behind the cult's actions, going by Jonah's occasional exposition to his followers. "A world that has shunned us, unleash a plague, yadda yadda."
Rule of Cool: Does anything in the film make sense? No. Does anything need to make sense? Hell no!
Running Gag: The Accountant telling various evil people that he'll see them again, with various amounts of time attached to it. Implying that that's how long they have to live, and they are going to Hell.
Satan Is Good: Not quite, but it seems he's not as bad as he's made out to be. The Accountant describes Satan as being a quiet, well-read man who's simply doing his job as the warden of what is basically the afterlife's prison. Of note, Satan apparently hates it when children are sacrificed in his name. Word Of God says there is nothing supernatural in the entire film aside from Milton, the Accountant and, of course, the Godkiller. Jonah King is just a madman, and the human sacrifice would have won him absolutely nothing. The Accountant actually points this out before the film is even half over; a cultist claims to serve Satan...
Accountant: A pact, huh? Funny, he's never mentioned you.
Soundtrack Dissonance: In the second half of the movie, Oklahoma police herd Milton and Piper into a roadblock in order to execute them for their earlier cop-killing. Until the protagonists were about to be shot, music was either non-existent or appropriately grim. Then the Accountant drives in from behind the roadblock in a hydrogen fuel truck, speeding straight towards the cops and driving through their cars to get to them, explosions abounding. What starts playing? "That's the Way I Like It" by KC & the Sunshine Band, on the Accountants' radio, while he bobs his head to the music.
Stupid Evil: Specifically, violating Rule 104, albeit with a pentagram scar on the cultist in the Oklahoma police department, as shown by The Accountant.
Trailers Always Lie: The trailer depicts The Accountant as being the main villain when it is actually Jonah (the cult leader who kidnapped Milton's granddaughter). The Accountant is mainly there to get Milton back into Hell. They also implied that Jonah was the one who killed Milton and that the baby was his daughter, not his granddaughter.
Subverted. Piper pulls a come-hither move on a bar employee and tells Milton she's off to "paint her nails." Cut to the bar guy literally painting her toenails; he even lampshades it by asking, "Are we going to do it?" She tells him that it would depend on how well he would do her nails...
"Aim for their tires."
Villainous Rescue: Milton and Piper are stuck at a police blockade about to get gunned down. Then the Accountant drives up in a hydrogen transport truck to the tune of "That's The Way I Like It," clearing a path for them. He even insists on being thanked for it later.
Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Frank invokes this after he clocks Piper in the mouth, knocking her down. The first hit is justifiable in self-defense, as she was activelywhaling on him. The second hit, not so much, since it was out of spite for her spitting blood on him, and then he would have completely crossed the line by beating her face in for breaking up with him after she was already down and losing consciousness if not for Milton's intervention.
Wouldn't Hurt a Child: The female cultist who has been caring for Milton's baby granddaughter finds herself unable to harm the child when Jonah King orders her to sacrifice the baby.