I like to enter the theater with as little information about a movie as possible. It’s more exciting to learn about the characters and story as I go. I knew Ben Affleck was the star of The Accountant, but I didn’t know much about else about this new film. What unfolded over the next couple of hours was a unique and, at times, confusing ride with a truly interesting character.
Affleck plays an adult savant with special skills born out of growing up autistic. Christian Wolff works by day as an accountant but has many extracurricular activities that may not be very legal. He is hired to cook the books with most of his clients being of the unsavory and criminal type. Christian Wolff is the person you bring in when you want to figure out your finances on the down-low and outside of the eyes of the government.
There is a backstory that weaves in and out during the film and sometimes that gets rather confusing. It’s as if they watched it and realized there were holes in the story so they sort of just shot scenes explaining the missing information and then shoved them into the movie.
The best thing about the film was how they took a sad story about a young autistic child that loses his mother and made it into an exciting action film. The boy who grew up being teased for being different develops into a flawed but awesome tough guy. I’m not certain of the accuracy and realism of the possibilities of something like this actually happening but we don’t comb over the super hero movies’ storylines on how they came into their powers, so I don’t need that here.
Although The Accountant is violent and disconnected at times, I think they stick to being true with the autism and that makes the film work. Affleck’s character doesn’t all of a sudden just get better and lead a normal life. The genius accountant has developed a life that works for him and in the true spirit of all comic hero type films, he is out to do right by the good people and take down the bad ones. He does this in his own unique way: using his brains and brawn.
There are a few tacky scenes that will make you roll your eyes, and two surprisingly bad acting performances from a pair of actors that I love. Anna Kendrick goes through the motions playing a new friend of our hero accountant. She was very awkward in this role and I was shocked by how uncomfortable she looked. John Lithgow is a Hollywood legend and usually really good at playing the bad guy. However, he is completely bland and walking through his part here. Both performances were awful, but neither character was vital to the film’s success.
Typically, I’m not a very big fan of Ben Affleck’s acting. His performance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, for example, was not good. It was so drab and uninspired. In this movie, his acting was solid and I was surprised by how much I liked it.
Bottom line: A different kind of movie with a different kind of super hero. Being unique works, The Accountant is a refreshing good time.
MovieMark Grade: B