The Accountant is like a Jason Bourne movie if you crossed it with The Imitation Game, A Beautiful Mind, or The Da Vinci Code. That might sound like an odd combination and The Accountant can admittedly be an uneven thriller. If you’re willing to go along with the preposterous setup, though, the film equals a good time. It’s silly while also being smart, convoluted while also being simple, and dead serious while also having a sense of humor. Most importantly, it’s actually more fun than Jason Bourne’s recent return to the big screen.
The Accountant is like a Jason Bourne movie if you crossed it with The Imitation Game, A Beautiful Mind, or The Da Vinci Code.
Ben Affleck shines as Christian Wolff, a CPA with a form of autism. Although he comes off as timid and harmless, Wolff is deadlier than Liam Neeson’s character in Taken. It turns out that this mild-mannered accountant has been working for some of the most lethal criminal organizations in the world. Wolff seemingly takes on a legit job when he goes to work for John Lithgow’s Lamar Black, the head of a robotics company. After uncovering a dark secret, however, Wolff becomes a target. Of course even John Wick would have a hard time taking this math wiz down.
Seeing how Affleck was easily the best part of Batman v Superman, he’s perfectly suited to play a rich badass living a double life. At the same time, he still finds himself playing against type. When people think of socially awkward individuals, Affleck is probably the last actor who comes to mind. Yet, he nails it as a man who understands numbers, but can’t wrap his head around human emotion. As much as Wolff wants to make a connection with other people, he’s simply unable to function in social gatherings. Affleck’s performance salvages much of the film, creating a nerdy action hero that’s surprisingly believable.
Seeing how Affleck was easily the best part of Batman v Superman, he’s perfectly suited to play a rich badass living a double life.
As great as Affleck is, The Accountant doesn’t always know what to do with its supporting cast. J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson star as a couple agents tracking Wolff down. While they turn in fine performances, their scenes often lag and don’t exactly amount to much. Anna Kendrick is a delight as an adorkable accountant that works alongside Wolff, but the film can never decide if she’s supposed to be a friend or a love interest. In a way it doesn’t really matter since her character disappears for a good portion of the story. Then there’s Jon Bernthal as an assassin tasked with taking Wolff out. Let’s just say there’s a twist involving this character that you’re going to see coming from a mile away.
While The Accountant doesn’t entirely work on a storytelling level, it is solid entertainment. Director Gavin O’Connor of Warrior delivers several exhilarating action sequences with just enough thrills and humor to go around. Bill Dubuque’s screenplay, while ridiculous at times, doesn’t have a dull moment. All the while, you can tell that Affleck is 100% committed to his role. Your brain might tell you that this equation shouldn’t add up when all is said and done, but the results will ultimately balance out if you’re in the right frame of mind.