Directed by Gavin O’Connor, director of gritty sports drama Warrior, The Accountant stars Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) and Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect). Affleck is Christian Wolff, a man suffering with autism who has a gift for numbers…and killing. Wolff looks like your every day accountant, which is expressed early on in the film as he helps an older couple with their taxes in the most awkward but kind-hearted manner. However, Wolff also runs the books for the world's most notorious criminals. This attracts the attention of the US Treasury Department who opens an investigation on Wolff, to whom he's simply known as The Accountant.
Knowing he is being pursued, Wolff takes a 'legitimate' job for a robotics company where he meets the quirky but sweet Dana Cummings, played by Kendrick. The two form an unusual partnership as they attempt to track down irregularities in the company books. The partnership between them is arguably the films strongest feature as the two - seemingly opposites - find that they both have a passion for art and mathematics.
Sadly, the partnership between Wolff and Cummings isn’t exploited in greater detail. The same can be said about Wolff’s background, which is unearthed by flash backs throughout the film. We do get some insight on Wolff’s relationship with his father and brother as well as how he got to be the clinical killer with ruthless execution, but there is very little regarding as to how he came to be in the position we find him in the film. A more extensive look at Wolff's criminal past would have added a much-needed darker side to film, which we have seen in other Affleck films such as Gone Girl.
The film's brutal fight scenes are a reflection of Affleck’s character: efficient, cold and often straight to the point. This can be seen as a flaw, but it actually stops the film from becoming a mindless action film using violence just for the sake of using violence. Therefore, the film is able to excel, using the quieter periods of the film to not only show off Wolff’s more vulnerable side, but also does a brilliant job of building to these actions scenes, making their inclusion far more impactful without having to drown the audience in mindless violence.
Although the film deals with the complexity of autism and gives us a vital awareness about the condition, the necessity of Affleck’s character dealing with having autism is somewhat confusing. Having said that; without autism, the Wolff character would have far less character (for want of a better word). It is this lacking of emotion that gives Wolff that awkwardness, which becomes a much-needed comic relief only adding to his charm.
While The Accountant may not go down as a classic action thriller, I would thoroughly recommend it. It is a well-written and well-directed film featuring a strong cast that do a fantastic job at delivering an enjoyable story, which involves some interesting twists and well executed fight scenes that would give Affleck’s pal Matt Damon a run for his money in the Jason Bourne series.
Book your ticket to The Accountant here!