The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Writer: Bill Dubuque
Cast: Ben AffleckAnna KendrickJ.K. SimmonsJon BernthalJeffrey TamborCynthia Addai-RobinsonJohn Lithgow
Seen on: 9.11.2016

Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) has discovered irregularities in her company’s accounts. So an external accountant is called in to look at the books – Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck). Wolff is usually more occupied with keeping the accounts of criminal organizations, but since he’s being investigated by the Treasury Department in the form of Ray King (J.K. Simmons), a legitimate job seems like a good idea at this moment. But when Wolff confirms Cummings’ suspicions, people start dying and soon he finds himself deeply involved.

The Accountant’s claim to fame is the fact that Christian Wolff is an autistic character/action hero. Other than that it doesn’t really have anything unusual to offer, but it’s a decent film.

The Accountant has a solid script that is a little too neat for its own good. While it isn’t really meticulous enough to close every plot hole, it follows writing advice and structuring so well that it becomes absolutely predictable. When you know that every seemingly throwaway remark and camera angle will become meaningful later on, it becomes very hard to remain surprising.

Despite that, the film was entertaining and enjoyable. The cast was solid, with Jon Bernthal stealing the film and running away with it, first with an almost cartoonish rendition of Hipster Evil, but later on really nailing the emotional moments that he gets. It made me wish that he would get to play more outside of his type.

I’m not that familiar with autism, though I’m not completely clueless, at least on a theoretical basis, so I’m going to leave the discussion of whether Wolff works as a good representation of autism to people more knowledgeable of it. But I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen worse takes on autism on film – and the idea that an autistic person can be an action hero who gets many of his strengths and not just his weaknesses from his autism seems to me a generally good direction.

Nevertheless, The Accountant didn’t really make me all that enthusiastic. It had a few lengths and it lacked the spark that would really sell me on it. But overall it is entertaining enough.

Summarizing: Watchable, but not a must-see.

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