From the first trailer I saw for ‘The Accountant’, I was expecting a hint of mystery and vagueness with Ben Affleck tapping his fingers on a desk with scenes cut for tension. (Something that would make directors like Christopher Nolan and David Fincher proud.)
Instead, I got Affleck’s stern emotionless expression and intelligent brain. Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Affleck has proven himself in the past few years with films like ‘Argo’, ‘Gone Girl’, and surprisingly ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’. ‘The Accountant’ is another addition to the roster of movies where Ben Affleck actually shows skill as an actor; and in this movie, he has hit a home run, even if the movie has a struggle of getting to home plate.
Affleck plays a man of many aliases named Christian Wolff, who works as an accountant where he spends his time calculating units of measurements for his customers. On the side, however, he actually gets involved with the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations, which he is under investigation by J.K. Simmons’ almost-retired cliche of a character named Ray King. King hires a new recruit named Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help with the investigation and find evidence on Wolff’s side activities as an informant.
What separates Wolff from many other action-movie antiheroes is that he has a form of high-functioning autism where he can solve math problems overnight by just gathering files and writing them down on the office walls and windows in a high-tech building run by John Lithgow; but still has a problem when communicating with people. He has a routine of blowing on his fingers before starting a task, and blasts loud music with strobe lights while hitting himself when things go wrong for him. (This makes me feel for his character since I have a form of autism myself.) I feel that anyone else with autism can also relate to the struggles that Wolff goes through. He’s not a good guy, but he’s also not a bad guy either. He wants to be accepted and has had a struggle with his autism at a very young age when he had a hard time controlling his emotions. The way that he and the young actor who portrays his younger self is very emotional and impactful.
Anna Kendrick is also in this movie where she serves as a sort-of love interest and friend to Wolff as he tries to keep her safe while working undercover at Lithgow’s company. There’s also a villain in this movie, but the way he is introduced is rushed and without reasoning. Another flaw I saw with ‘The Accountant’ was that it tries to focus on two stories at once: The investigators searching for Wolff, while actually delving into the chemistry of Affleck and Kendrick; the movie has an uneven focus on what it’s trying to accomplish, and I felt that the story needed a bit more consistency; there is also a good amount of humor to keep the audience laughing as well. I can tell that ‘The Accountant’ is definitely not as great as the potential it teased us, but it still makes for a good time at the movies with a couple of friends. Side warning: If you are prone to epileptic seizures or have a form of epilepsy, I suggest staying away from this movie for there is a scene of flashing lights.