Anticipation: 3/5 I saw The Accountant more because of a snafu rather than outright desire to see. The original plan was to see Keeping Up with the Joneses, but the theater’s download was corrupted. It’s Ben Affleck doing what he’s great at. Couldn’t be too bad, right?
Final Verdict: 4.5/5 Based on the title alone, you wouldn’t think The Accountant is an action packed drama. The most apt description of the film is Batman meets Rain Man. This film seriously exceeded all of my expectations.
Ben Affleck portrays Christian Wolff, an accountant who, on the surface, just comes off as an awkward man, who happens to be a wiz with numbers. But beneath the surface, he’s also an accountant for some of the biggest mafia crime syndicates, terrorist organizations, and drug cartels from around the world. Now, these high profile clients have caused Christian some trouble because he’s now on the Treasury Department’s radar. Director Ray King (J.K. Simmons), head of financial crimes unit, is looking to crack one last case before he retires. He enlists the help of Agent Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) as part of his attempt to catch a man they only know as The Accountant.
Nearly every aspect of this movie was enjoyable and was engaging from the moment it started. All of the elements were like a puzzle the viewer got the solve along with the characters. There were plenty of red herrings to throw you off the true nature of the villain’s intentions. Moreover, there were many literary, artistic, mathematic, and even DC comic book references in the film to serve as clues. If you are familiar with those cultural references, some aspects of the film may be easy to predict.
Only one sequence went on too long. The scene that bridged the second and third acts was a big, spoilery, exposition dump to connect many of the threads of the plot together. The scene is two characters talking about how they’re connected to Christian Wolff. It goes on for far too long and slows the pace of an otherwise action packed film. However, the elements in the film were not predictable to the point that it became groan inducing. The action and narrative was intriguing enough where guessing something correct was rewarding.
I really appreciated Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Christian. It’s clear from the introduction, even though they don’t call it out directly, that he is on the Autism spectrum. Through a series of flashbacks, we see the harsh upbringing he’s had to endure and how that allowed him to survive in the tense situations his current work brings. Affleck’s performance feels authentic, whereas lesser actors might have gone clichéd or heavy handed with traits a person with Autism might have.
Anna Kendrick is absolutely adorable in her role as Dana Cummings. Dana tries so hard to engage with Christian, but he’s simply incapable of that level of human contact. As awkward as she is, Dana has pretty powerful moments too. She is an average girl thrown into an extraordinary situation. But, she doesn’t just sit back and become a damsel in distress. The writers cleverly avoided writing her as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, which would have made the character much less appealing.
Overall, The Accountant is a fun action romp worth seeing on the big screen. You’ll leave the theater asking why the 2016 summer’s blockbusters weren’t more like this one.
What did you think of The Accountant? Sound off in the comment section below!