HOLLYWOOD—When you think of action-star, the name Ben Affleck might not be the likeliest contender, but after seeing his latest flick many might begin to think otherwise. In “The Accountant,” Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, who as a kid had a childhood that was not full of amazing moments. Christian suffers from autism and as a kid his parents were widely concerned if their son, who had a knack for all these mathematics and spatial could live a normal life.
The answer to that question is yes, especially when you have a military father who is willing to teach his son the importance of firing a gun, instead of building social bonds. Consider it a level of parenting that most individuals would agree with, but at the same time, anyone that is a parent has compassion for their child, wouldn’t allow that to transpire. The actions of Christian’s dad shapes him into the person he is as an adult, where he works as an accountant on behalf of those who work in the criminal underground.
There are indeed some silly moments in the movie, like reminiscent to “Charlie’s Angels.” One could make the argument that this action-flick utilizes a little bit of this and a little bit of that to craft its narrative. Is it far-fetched, yes, but if you suspend reality enough as a spectator, you begin to appreciate the movie for what it tends to do: entertain, at all costs.
The narrative finds Christian being hunted by the Director of Financial Crimes of the Treasury Department Raymond King (J.K. Simmons), who he has coined ‘The Accountant.’ Yes, the meta-element in the movie is quite funny to say the least. The audience is given the impression that Christian is some undercover superhero or villain of sorts. Aiding King in his mission is Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), who agrees to help King to prevent him from exposing her criminal background.
While King has his surprise ally, so does Christian, in the name of Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick). Kendrick is such a treat in the role; she reminds me of that breakout performance she delivered in the drama “Up in the Air.” When given material to play with, there is no limit to where Kendrick will take her character and it’s thrilling to see things unfold. There is a great level of chemistry between Affleck and Kendrick that works well on the big screen. As a viewer, you would never think these two would be capable of being allies, but Affleck and Kendrick showcase their acting skills to prove anything is possible.
“The Accountant” has quite a few twists, and the twists are quite revealing to say the least. As a viewer, you suspect one thing, but when that surprise is thrown your way, you can’t help but say, “Why didn’t I see that coming?” Other supporting players in Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow, add to the narrative leaving the audience guessing to how things will end.
Yes, the script written by Bill Dubuque is original, has plenty of wit, may be one of the most far-fetched ideas I’ve seen in years, but man was I thoroughly entertained by what I was watching on the big screen. Director Gavin O’ Connor manages to balance the drama and the action-sequences so the audience is able to connect with our title character. Would one expect Affleck to be cast as ‘The Accountant’ after reading the script? No, but after seeing the movie it all makes perfect sense: I can’t see anyone else tackling the role of this anti-hero that isn’t all there. I would rank “The Accountant” as the one movie this year that I had no expectations whatsoever for, and found myself loving every moment of it.