The Accountant

The Accountant

In Theatres: 
Oct 14, 2016
Running Time: 
208 minutes

Relationships have been at the center of director Gavin O’Connor’s latest films. Warrior is about two brothers who fighting in an MMA tournament. Jane Got a Gun is about a wife doing what it takes to protect her family. His latest film, The Accountant, is about how a young math savant’s inability to form normal relationships with people lead him to become an accountant for some of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the world. It’s solid action thriller but a predictable formula and heavy exposition considerably slow it down.


Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) was diagnosed with Autism at an early age and while he excelled with math and puzzles, he lacked the social skills that would let him live what his military father would call a normal life. Still, he’s managed to make a living running his own CPA office, but that’s just a front because his real job involves running the books for known terrorists and mob criminals. While his identity remains hidden, his job has caught the eyes of government agent Ray King (J. K. Simmons) who wants to know who this guy is that the world’s worst people trust with their money.


The Accountant has a central focus on its characters, namely Affleck’s Christian Wolff, and that’s a good thing. We’re given insight into his ticks and mindset as to how someone who’s excellent with numbers can also be a skilled assassin. The flashbacks to his childhood do a great job at this. Unfortunately, O’Connor relies too heavily on trying to explain everything that the film ultimately loses focus halfway through. There’s a lengthy scene in particular when King is explaining to his partner how he first got involved in chasing Wolff. He goes into unnecessarily long detail of his first encounter with him, and frankly it adds nothing to the film other than slows it down. There are a few twists in the story, but you can see them coming from a mile away so any impact they have is wasted.


Wolf’s meticulously planned out schedule is fascinating, and everything is turned upside down when he meets the bubbly Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick). Kendrick is a wonderful contrast to Affleck’s straight and logical-driven demeanor and provides some nice moments of comedy in an otherwise tense action thriller. The action itself is reminiscent of John Wick in its depiction of gunplay. Its non-overly stylized cinematography gives the scenes a quick and devestating one-two punch.


The Accountant is fun when it wants to be es evident by the handful of scenes that can make you laugh from the humor one moment and then wince from the brutality the next. Ben Affleck delivers a solid performance of a complex character. It’s a shame that his backstory gets in the way of telling the story that’s in front of our eyes.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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