By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, the titular accountant who has some dark secrets and illegal dealings. Wolff may work as an average accountant as a cover, but he makes his fortune legitimizing numbers for criminal organizations. Writter Bill Dubuque and director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) serve up an action-thriller that does suffer from some transparency, but still delivers intense thrills and suspense. In addition, Affleck delivers a great performance as Wolff, whose ingenious skills and talents come as the result of a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Since childhood, Christian Wolff and his parents have struggled with the problems associated with Christian’s autism. On the positive side, with this condition, Wolff discovers that it enables his mind to work in some truly incredible ways. As an adult, Christian has had a successful career doctoring the books for dangerous criminals under the guise of a CPA practice. When Wolff realizes that Treasury Agent Ray King (J.K. Simmons) and his new recruit Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) are getting close, he decides to go legitimate working for a robotics company who hires him to figure out the source of some monetary discrepancies. As Wolff gets close to solving the puzzle, an unknown criminal starts eliminating people connected to him and the company.
Dubuque and O’Connor deliver an intense nail-biter of a mystery thriller. The filmmakers parallel the work of Wolff and the work of his antagonist, a criminal named Brax (Jon Bernthal), but in doing so the reason becomes a tad too obvious. This element of predictability does take away from the overall experience; however, the more fascinating and enticing part of the film is Wolff’s backstory. Moving back and forth between the past and present effectively gives the audience the development of Christian Wolff and how he becomes the accountant they eventually get to know and admire.
The film not only features an excellent performance by Affleck, who credibly adopts the traits, behaviors and symptoms of autism, but also can boast awesome work by J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and Anna Kendrick who stars as accountant Dana Cummings, the robotics company’s accountant who assists Wolff with his investigation. The film also stars John Lithgow, Jeffery Tambor and Robert Trevelier, who all offer solid turns.
Thought one particular reveal in the story plays out too obviously, I still found the movie to be engaging and entertaining. The Acccountant will not get my highest recommendation this week, but it is a film that I do recommend.. I have to say once again, I am rather impressed with Affleck’s performance in this movie. It is, quite possibly, the best acting he has done in his career so far. That, alone, is reason to watch this film.