Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"The Accountant" (Warner Brothers)
"The Accountant" is so fresh and so riveting you can overlook the minor plotholes that exist. Ben Affleck stars in this film as a man who is on the Autism spectrum. Not only is he good with figures but he is also a deadly force with his fists or with a gun. Learning the complexities that exist in this man gives Affleck a chance to show acting skills audiences rarely get to see. His performance plus the brilliance of the script by Bill Dubuque and the directing effort by Gavin O'Connor make this a movie not to be missed.
Affleck plays Christian Wolff, an accountant who is tracked by a high level security guy in the United States government. Ray King (J. K. Simmons) enlists the aid of his agent Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) in tracking down the real identity of a man known as "the Accountant". This man has been involved in a series of events that have triggered this search.
Meanwhile Wolff, the Accountant, has been hired by a company headed by Lamar Black (John Lithgow). He is to sort through their books and find if any money is missing. A low level accountant has made the charge. Her name is Dana (Anna Kendrick) and while he is at the company she tries to befriend Christian. Later in the film a hit is put out on both Christian and Dana which causes them to go on the run together.
In flashbacks we learn of Christian's early years and how his father made efforts to toughen both him and his brother up. Christian's mother had tried to have Christian admitted to a "special" school but his father was opposed to it. This caused a rift in his parents' marriage.
As Christian's story plays out on screen it is unlike any other action adventure we have seen. Christian has defining traits that make him aloof in some ways but tender in others. Affleck gives the character the full range of emotions necessary to make him believable. It is Affleck's best performance ever and one that makes him actually likable. It is a quiet performance but it causes shock waves throughout the film.
Kendrick has a relatively small role in the movie but it is an important one. The same can be said of Simmons, Lithgow, Addai-Robinson, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart and Jeffrey Tambor. Each of these roles is important to the story but the focus is always on the character of Christian Wolff, either as a child (Seth Lee) or an adult (Affleck). Point of interest, you can easily see Seth Lee's character growing up to be Affleck's character.
The movie is rated R for profanity and violence.
When I was watching the movie I was actually thinking to myself how good it was. I enjoyed the action sequences as well as those filled with dialogue. Then there were the twists and turns in the story that actually surprised me. It was so engrossing and so entertaining I felt myself smiling throughout, even in the most gruesome parts.
"The Accountant" came out of nowhere to surprise me with its freshness. It renewed my interest in Ben Affleck the actor, as well as my vow to never pre-judge a movie. All of us can still be surprised.
I scored "The Accountant" a tabulated 8 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper