The Accountant stars Ben Affleck in the titular role from the still young screenwriter Bill Dubuque. Directed by Gavin O’Connor, The Accountant is a promising movie that loses itself in its own story. Ben Affleck is Christian Wolff, a mathematical genius who works as an accountant for clientele of all kind. At the same time, Director of Financial Crimes Raymond King is hunting down a mysterious figure linked to multiple dangerous figures around the globe, and simply calls him ‘The Accountant.’ King is portrayed by J.K. Simmons, and recruits newbie Marybeth Medina in his hunt, and she is played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson.
From the moment I saw trailers for The Accountant, more specifically the scene where his parents are denying help for him as a child, stating the world isn’t a sensitive place and won’t take his condition into consideration with the world’s plans, I became very interested in the movie with this premise alone. It gives a new spin on a story that’s otherwise a “factory” film. There is a good movie in The Accountant, but a lot of editing needs to be done to bring it out. The whole story thread with J.K. Simmons is pretty pointless, even with him doing a great job chewing up his scenes. His story thread could have made a great sequel, especially since they could’ve developed that story more. There is nothing inherently bad about his story, it just pulls us out of Christian’s story and kills the tension that’s been building. The action in the movie is fantastic though, and was surprised to see Pencak Silat being used as the material arts style of choice. The film definitely has redeeming qualities that makes me interested in a sequel.
Ben Affleck does a solid work bringing life to Christian and making us believe in his condition. Anna Kendrick is a bit of a weak link with a wooden performance, but who can blame her with such a cliché character. Jon Bernthal really surprised me playing a hitman so differently than The Punisher that he continues to show me he’s capable of not only diving deep into characters, but not being trapped in character tropes (like Jason Statham for example). My fandom for him just keeps growing. Everyone else gives solid enough performances to not detract from the movie, but there characters don’t give them much to work with. Those characters may have become more compelling if the J.K. Simmons story thread was removed to make room for them.
Gavin O’Connor directs a beautiful mess of a movie. All the scenes are framed great, and as we know from Warrior, he knows how to capture action. The faults of this movie I don’t feel are on him, since he was hired by a studio (Warner Bros.) to make a script that he cannot change. O’Connor does a great job of connecting the audience to Christian and giving a great slow burn to the great climax at the end of the movie. Even with all of the faults, like I said earlier, they’re not bad, they just don’t fit and help build on the overall tone and story. I definitely hope we get a sequel that can tie those two threads together.