The first time I saw the trailer for the Accountant I was hooked. I missed the opening of the film because of the Top Five Movies… podcast. Luckily, I was able to get to the theater and check it out. I loved this movie and found the story interesting and compelled. The Accountant earns the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a mathematician who uncooks the books for a variety of dangerous clients. He is hired by a new client to help discover where a large sum of money went missing, but the Treasury Department is closing in. As the noose tightens, the body count rises.
I am a fan of Ben Affleck. I wasn’t for a long time after watching Daredevil, the movie not the show. However, Argo, the Town, and even him as Batman/Bruce Wayne has won me over. I particularly liked him in this film. He is playing a person who has autism spectrum disorder. The character is often stoic and disconnected from many other people. He is a math genius and trained to defend himself. I’m also pretty sure that his chanting of Solomon Grundy was a reference to the DC villain who often fights Batman. He is Batman after all.
The story in the film is really interesting and has some really cool action sequences. Affleck owns those moments, but is also able to pull the audience into his character. Director Gavin O’Connor crafts an interesting visual story. There is a character trait, and an element of the ASD, that Wolff has to finish anything he starts. The films narrative echoes that and by the end of the film all of the loose ends are tied. Some of the story was predictable, but other elements caught me by surprise.
Final thoughts on the Accountant
I think the Accountant is a really fun time at the theater. Affleck works really well with Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, J.K. Simmons, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson. It’s not often that the main character in a film is autistic and also an action star. I’m not sure if that makes this movie more impressive or a cultural oddity. It’s not a common choice, but the film did work for me a lot.
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW:
I feel the need to explain some of my last statements. Making an action star out of an autistic character who kills people without any hesitation can be damaging. Autistic individuals and sociopaths should not be connected and this film walks a fine line. That said, the man Wolff has become is a result of his father’s conditioning. He pushes him to be able to defend himself so much that he has a Dexter type quality in the end.
This film has story issues on a big way that I didn’t question while watching. The books he uncooks for the tech company is baffling. How they react to it by hiring a hitman to kill people is baffling? This movie requires a suspension of disbelief that can be staggering. For some reason though, I managed to take it as it was and enjoy it. Could it be so bad that it becomes good again? Possibly. Could it be a result of great actors taking a questionable story and playing it straight? Sure. Maybe the movie worked for me because it so closely mimicked comic book movies. You do have several comic book actors (J.K. Simmons is in Spider-man and Justice League, Affleck is Daredevil and Batman, and Bernthal is in Walking Dead and Daredevil the good one). In many ways, Wolff is Batman and that is probably why I liked it.