‘The Accountant’ Review: Rollercoaster Of Emotions Wrapped In Violence

You Know ‘The Accountant’ Is Good When My Only Complaints Is There Needs To Be More Of It.

I wouldn’t say I had low expectations for ‘The Accountant‘ but it was more so, I didn’t know what to expect. The marketing makes it seem like ‘John Wick‘ meets ‘Rain Man‘ and the movie delivers just that. Blending the action choreography of recent movies with a near manic level of brilliance makes for a great time at the theater.

To put the plot simply, the movie is about a math savant with high-functioning autism who makes his money as an accountant for dangerous criminals. He is a wizard at going through months and years of books and figuring out any financial problem you can think of.  This socially awkward dude and mathematical genius is also a very deadly assassin.

When Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) takes on a seemingly simple case for a robotic prosthetics company, our complex math wiz finds himself in a mess he must get himself out of but he also HAS to finish this case. Along the way, Wolff meets a girl with a great mind for math named Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick). He fights to protect her and figure out what is happening by using any means. There is also a hit-man going after them named Brax (Jon Bernthal) and a Treasury agent investigating Christian Wolff.


“Calculate your choices.”

All of these moving parts blend well together. It’s Bill Dubuque’s screenplay and the fluid directing of Gavin O’Connor (‘Miracle‘, ‘Warrior‘) that makes the film feel whole.

The most outstanding thing about ‘The Accountant‘ has to be the titular character. Ben Affleck brings to life the tics and manic moments of Christian Wolff with beautiful realism. Introducing the viewer to his routine early helped establish what kind of man he was. The experience we then see him go through is much more deserving because of it. Affleck’s character is so blunt it stings at times. There’s so many cringe-worthy moments but then, he is beating someone to death with a belt and you’re in shock. The harmony created with all the film’s tones is refreshing.

The only thing I could have had more of were the action set pieces. I know that less is more for some, but I’m a child of excess. When something is so stunning like the fights and action sequences in this movie, there needs to be more of it. Whether if it a martial arts flashback or a present-day ass kicking shoot-out, there’s some real solid fights. There’s some reminiscences to ‘John Wick‘ but it also has the realism of the first ‘Bourne’ film. You can see the influence of the Indonesian martial art form Pencak Silat. It’s known for being a full body fighting style and also based deeply in the psychology of fighting. That analytical fighting fit the neurodevelopmental disorder of Ben Affleck’s Christian Wolff perfectly.

Young Christian’s Father: Can our son lead a normal life?
Neurologist: Define normal.

Going into the film, there was a few things I honestly thought would take away from the movie. The Treasury agent story seemed unnecessary and Anna Kendrick’s levity would take away from the piece. How wrong I was when she ended up playing the straight man to the hilariously awkward Affleck. Also, the agent plot featuring the talented J.K. Simmons wasn’t really needed but it did add an extra layer to the film. If we took away some of that and focused it towards some the family problems with Christian Wolff, it may have vaulted to another cinematic level. Like I said, when there is something so good…give me more of it.

And when the credits wrapped, I was left wondering if the third act “twist” was meant to be a twist at all. With something so obviously spelled out for you but never confirmed till the last minute, why was it even there in the first place?

Final Thoughts:

The Accountant‘ is one of the best films of the year. Ben Affleck has seen this amazing career renaissance since ‘Argo‘ and it doesn’t seem to stop here. While 2016 isn’t known for having the best blockbuster movies, Affleck has had great performances out of two major movies this year.

Everything is fleshed out enough to tell a complete story. Enough questions were answered but nothing was wrapped up in a pretty bow. For having such fun moments, there is a darkness to this film that makes it a bit different.

Go see ‘The Accountant‘ in theaters October 14th, 2016! Starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson.

EJ Moreno
EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno