Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Accountant

Year: 2016
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Cast: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow

Plot: An autistic savant overcomes his disability and becomes an accountant that secretly takes on clients made up of dangerous people around the world, making him a wanted man by the Treasury Department. When he takes on a robotics company as his client, he discovers a discrepancy that someone in the company would kill to hide.

Review: Based on the trailer alone, you can't really tell that The Accountant is an action film. It is, but it's also a character study of an autistic math wiz.

The character study part shows us the life of Christian Wolff, who had high end autism as a child. His father, a military man, rejects the recommendation of a neuroscientist and chooses instead to push Christian to not only overcome his disability, but to use it to his advantage. As a result, Christian grows up to become a math savant, using his skills to provide accounting services to dangerous individuals. Outside of that, he lives a solitary life, listening to loud music to calm down and keeps a trailer filled with cash and valuables. It is when he meets Dana Cummings, the young accountant of his latest client, that he starts to challenge his lack of social skills, and at the same time realizing that the company is trying to cover up something and is willing to go to deadly lengths to do it.

This is where the action part kicks in, as the discovery of some missing money makes him and Dana targets for elimination. If you're an action junkie, you have to be patient as this only happens at the film's half mark. But if you're the kind who loves violent hand-to-hand scraps and shootouts Jason Bourne style, you'll get a real treat here.

Ben Affleck, fresh off playing Batman, gives a strong portrayal of a man who accepts the things that make him different and become a hero that isn't shaded white, but grey. It's one of Affleck's best performances yet. Anna Kendrick is her usual awkward but likable self as Dana, but it works due to her fluid chemistry with Affleck. J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson also do well as the two Treasury agents chasing Christian, while Jon Bernthal is great as Christian's adversary.

The downside is the film's weak first half, where director Gavin O'Connor shows us too many things going on at once, causing the film to lose focus. Once the film's action begins, the story becomes clearer.

Overall, The Accountant isn't perfect, but it's an inspiring story in its own way and a solid vehicle for Ben Affleck. (7/10)

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