THE ACCOUNTANT Review — Hoping for high numbers
by Lisa Johnson Mandell
A thoughtful potboiler with plenty of twists. Who would have thought a thriller in this day and age could stand on story and character, rather than CGI and crazy camera work? Sure, The Accountant is slow at times–after all, we all know that’s it’s tough to make math look exciting. But there is such a huge, unforeseen payoff in the end, it’s worth enduring a small amount of tedium.
Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a man gifted with high functioning autism. He has an uncanny way with numbers, but with people, not so much. Because of his unrivaled focus, ability and discretion, he’s been called in to do forensic accounting for drug cartels, mafia families and other assorted baddies. Now the Treasury Department, headed by a tough old bird on the brink of retirement (J.K. Simmons) is hot on his trail. Meanwhile, Wolff takes on a seemingly legitimate client, working with a vulnerable yet understanding bookkeeper played by Anna Kendrick.
Sure, that plot is interesting, if a bit hard to follow, but what really fascinated me were Wolff’s flashbacks to his father trying to successfully raise two brothers, one with autism, one without. His father’s choices may seem cruel, but so is life, and he did indeed teach his boys how to deal with it effectively.
Perhaps I was so intrigued personally because some members of my family are affected by Asperger syndrome, and I’d never seen a take quite like this on it. Affleck perfectly walks the line between deadly and endearing, and I’d love to see more of this character in a sequel. I’m not sure the marketing does the film justice, however. I realize the title may seem dull, so they thought they had to juice it up with a black and white photo of Affleck strapped with a heavy duty automatic weapon. That may pique the interest of the gun toting set, but it turns off a more sensitive audience. This film is so much more than a shoot ’em up, I hope it performs well enough for a second round.
2 Hours 8 Minutes
Get times and tickets at Fandango.com.
THE ACCOUNTANT Review — It All Adds Up in the End