Imagine if Raymond Babbitt from Rain Man was spliced with Jason Bourne for a second. An autistic savant brilliant with figures mixed with a highly trained and efficient assassin is one hell of scary prospect, and one we see brought to life in Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant.
Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) works as a forensic accountant where he tracks financial deceptions for numerous criminal enterprises. Diagnosed with high-functioning form of autism as a child, Wolff was deprived the chance to live in a care home by his father, who instead thought he should live in the real world to overcome any hardships he may face.
With the Treasury Department, led by Raymond King (J. K. Simmons), closing in on him, Wolff is hired to investigate the financial discrepancies of Living Robotics, a state-of-the-art robotics company.
Despite having an incredibly boring title, The Accountant is a strangely entertaining affair that utilises the complexities of its lead character to good effect. Don’t get me wrong, The Accountant is one of those far-fetched thrillers that you’ll have no chance of enjoying if you don’t buy into it however, there were times I felt a little more explaining could have been done. Exposition can kill a film but it can also go a long way in keeping an audience on side.
The film is a bit of a mess tonally too, almost as if they couldn’t decide whether to go for a wholly serious thriller or not, throwing in a couple of random comedic moments that didn’t really do it for me. When the action comes, it’s pretty brutal, Affleck showing just how imposing he can be out of the Batsuit.
Coming to the performances, The Accountant is well served by an impressive ensemble cast. Ben Affleck leads the film with a decent performance as Wolff, the vagueness in his face suiting the character to a tee. I really liked the performance from Jon Bernthal, who really has come on leaps and bounds since hitting the big time as Shane in The Walking Dead, which is great to see.
Gavin O’Connor’s most accomplished work still remains as Warrior but I do like what he tried to do with The Accountant. This might just be me being greedy but I wonder how it would have been if Ben Affleck had written and directed the film.
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