Director: Gavin O’Connor
Writers: Bill Dubuque
Stars: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal
Synopsis: As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
If you ever wanted to see a movie where the central star is an awkward accountant in addition to being an expert marksman, then The Accountant is something you will love. Otherwise, you will find that whole movie just doesn’t add up which is ironic since Ben Affleck’s Christian Wolff is great with numbers. The Accountant is a ridiculous thriller that mildly succeeds by poking fun of itself, particularly the one-liners by the Accountant himself.
Christian Wolff (just one of this character’s many aliases), owns ZZZ Accounting, which serves a front for all the work he does for various shady organizations like mobs. Wolff gets compensated in different ways such as rare comic books and paintings. With Treasury agent Ray King (J.K. Simmons) closing in on him, Christian takes on a state-of-the-art robotics company as a legitimate client. Christian’s brought in when an employee named Dana (Anna Kendrick) notices a discrepancy of $61 million. Once Christian uncovers the truth, it is at that time that film goes in a tangled direction.
What annoys me more than anything is when people open new boxes of items without consuming the previous box, The Accountant does a similar thing and tells so many stories and only finishes up a handful of them. There is a story about a prom dress, dogs playing poker, Christian’s upbringing and a story about Christian’s financial strategy. I am extremely shocked that the directing is mediocre because O’Connor directed one my favorite films in Warrior.
Ben Affleck is hit or miss for me and thankfully he will star in Live By Night, coming out later this year. That is a film he not only acts in, but it’s a film he directed and will have a more prestigious aura to it. All in all, Affleck is fine in The Accountant. Anna Kendrick delivers a typical Kendrick performance and is serviceable in this this film.
One thing that O’Connor and crew did well was the way it handled Autism; filmmakers need to make sure that are representing physical and mental differences in a respectable way. Autism is not shown here in a negative light so for someone who has a mental illness I appreciate this 100%. The actions scenes are also a highlight of this film and seeing Ben Affleck fight gets me more excited for the eventual Batman vs. Deathstroke showdown in the upcoming Batman solo film.
A new segment I am trying out; If I was in the director’s chair, here is what I do differently. I would cut out the whole accountant thing as one of the main scenes in the film is meant for people who passed a CPA exam to understand and care. When Christian excitedly catches the $61 million “mistake,” he explains it to Dana in terms that I was not able to comprehend at that moment. Initially, when Christian went Super Saiyan, it was unclear as to why. Taking the accountant aspect out of this film would have made it much more enjoyable for me. I would also cut down on the running time a bit; there is a lot of slow moments in this film. The actions scenes were great, but there was not enough of them, so I would expand those scenes and cut down on other scenes.
Overall Grade: C
Hear our podcast review on Episode 191: