Ben Affleck kicks ass and then some.
This film isn’t perfect, it’s an action thriller that builds a story to connect many different story lines and characters in ways that are intended to shock the audience: some might, some might not. It’s entertaining, humorous at moments and you leave the theatre satisfied all because of one reason, the sentence written above. Ben Affleck is the Accountant, the Academy award-winning filmmaker (and on occasion The Goddamn Batman) reminds audiences how damn good of an actor he is. This film and everything around it hinges on the performance of Affleck and he nails it. Christian Wolff is a savant, an extremely gifted individual that Affleck and director Gavin O’Connor give a real humanity too. The audience is charmed by Affleck’s performance, Wolff can be rude, condescending at times but your never put off by him, your attention is on Affleck always.
The supporting cast doesn’t slouch it, Affleck is joined by a talented cast of players, Anna Kendrick is her sweet adorable self as Dana Cummings, an in-house accountant who first discovers the catalyst for the plot and befriends Christian Wolff despite his best efforts to sway her. Her performance doesn’t make it hard to believe why Affleck’s character feels an urge to protect her from the world he has unleashed on her. J.K. Simmons is the treasury agent Raymond King, who has been hunting the “Accountant” for the last ten years and recruits a young analyst to finally identify him. The film isn’t a cat and mouse chase between Affleck and Simmons as some advertising could lead you to believe but that doesn’t detract from the film, it shows how O’Connor is trying to craft a different kind of story. Everyone has their part to play as every character has their place in the puzzle O’Connor puts together for his audience.
The story is strong, not perfect but The Accountant is never boring as it balances out action, thrills, twists and deep character moments. This film is the story of Christian Wolff, that is always the main focus, who he is and who he came to be. Flashbacks show a difficult childhood, a father who refused to adapt for his child and trained him to survive any possible persecution. Wolff taught how to handle black money in prison becomes a highly elusive and dangerous individual, as showcased repeatedly by the film’s action sequences. Again refer to the first sentence, the action in this film is great, seamless and calculated Affleck cuts through his enemies in fantastic combinations of fists and bullets.
While I did enjoy this film, it does have its faults and for me it’s mostly personal opinions on execution of story. How everything connects together could become convoluted very fast but O’Connor makes it work in a manner that is acceptable. I enjoyed the reveals in this film, some I anticipated and other caught me by surprise. There is one that is quite obvious, the film knows this and falls into a trap of trying to make into a twist. I feel this film needed stronger development on this storyline and to make motivations clearer as the final execution of the storyline detracted from the film’s ending.
The Accountant won’t win awards, won’t break the box office, but it will leave an audience entertained which is what it sets out to do. With a powerful lead performance anchored by a strong supporting cast and direction, this film is an adventure that starts and finishes in the theatre. There is no book to compare it to, no cinematic universe to fight over, just a fine action thriller that wants to challenge its audiences mind for two good hours.