“The Accountant” directed by Gavin O’Connor and written by Bill Dubuque is an action thriller centering upon math savant Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who work as a CPA, where by day, he leads a normal life working for different clients and doing their cooks. However by night, he does his business for shady criminals and gangsters with the extra skills to show for it, having grown up with a soldier for a father. Supporting characters include Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), an accountant for the fictional robotics company “Living Robotics” run by Lamar Black (John Lithgow), Ray King (J.K. Simmons), Marybeth Medina(Cynthia Addai-Robinson), a pair of Treasury Agents tasked with tracking down Wolff and arresting him as well as Brax (Jon Bernthal), a mercenary sent to kill both Wolff and Cummings.
What this film most succeeds at is being a character study of Affleck’s character Christian Wolff. The subtle nuances conveyed in the protagonist’s mannerisms reflect a believable portrayal of a person within the Autism Spectrum.The flashback scenes of a young Christian Wolff played by Seth Lee also add to this. The film’s visual shots and editing further reinforces the day to day methodical nature if this man’s life. The action scenes also channel this with their illustration of a character that’s detached but still human. He kills because it’s part of the job description. Wolff’s blunt nature also creates room for humour in a number of instances whether it would be with his neighbours or with Kendrick’s character Dana Cummings.
Most of the supporting cast play in roles that we have seen them play before. Kendrick’s character basically plays a different version of her character in Mr. Right. Both are young women who find themselves in the company of killers. With regards to this film, we see a ray of positivity and bubbliness to a film mostly starring killers. The scenes between Affleck and Kendrick’s characters were a pleasure to watch as their contrasting personalities and life experiences create humour for the movie and a genuine reason for us as an audience to root for Christian to go after Lithgow’s character who intends to kill them using Brax, the mercenary character played by Jon Bernthal.
Having seen Bernthal and Affleck in action heavy roles in their past work, it was believable that the both of them could lead an action sequence that was convincing and interesting. Other than the clash between Brax and Wolff, Bernthal really does not add to much to the overall movie. The scenes leading toward that involving the systematic take-out of Brax’s men was rather entertaining as we see a further reinforcement of Affleck’s character he carefully constructed.
Another issue present to the movie was the way in which scenes of both Simmons’ and Addai-Robinson’s characters were executed and used in the movie. Overall both pretty much made the film a little too bloated for my liking with the addition of scenes that do not really add to the film’s narrative. Simmons’ character adds a long and lengthy exposition that was unnecessary for the most part. If they cut down on scenes involving them and focused more of Christian’s character, it would have made for a more cohesive film.
Overall while it was an interesting look into a unique character, “The Accountant” really did not add too much to this kind of action thriller genre which was more popular in the 1990’s.
Review by Thanura Ravindra