Movie Review: The Accountant (2016)
The Accountant may have come out last October, but after recently watching it again, we decided the Gavin O’Connor directed flick deserved a review. This film should have been a run-of-the-mill action film, complete with predictable plot lines and soulless characters. Thankfully, in my opinion, it has neither of those and manages to ascend the stairs of movie boredom to a surprisingly entertaining and wonderfully awkward adventure as we follow the journey of accountant and killing machine, Christian Wolff, played by Ben Affleck.
The film begins with Christian’s childhood, setting up his autistic background along with providing some clarity into his home life and interactions that will be important later on in the film. We then discover a present day adult version of Wolff that lacks certain social skills but is a superhero in his own right in both mathematics and killing. He spends his weekdays as a generic accountant in the suburbs while cooking the books for crime bosses and families with the killing skills to match his clients.
The film’s other supporting character of Dana Cummings, played by Anna Kendrick, is somewhat typical in the type of awkward, yet playful character Kendrick so often plays, and yet in this context, it works quite well for me. She gives the audience a realistic view of her evolving situation and provides some of the needed levity throughout the film. After Kenrick and Wolff are wrapped up in a murder and embezzling scheme, they are on the run, and the film’s exciting and murderous third act begins.
Personally, I think that Affleck doesn’t get the credit he deserves for having portrayed a character with autism. He does so with respect and the subtlety that only someone that has experienced it firsthand would understand. Ultimately, its Christian’s tough background that makes me love the story and his anti-hero(ish) character.
The remaining standout members of the cast are J.K. Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, Jon Bernthal, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson. They all serve the story well, and without giving away too much, I particularly enjoyed Lithgow and Bernthal’s performances. I really thought this was a great film with action, thrills, heart, and the slow distribution of back story to make you care about the characters. Ultimately, though, Ben Affleck steals the show, and his journey of an unlikely hero should be enough reason to see the film.