Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review of THE ACCOUNTANT: Autistic in Action

November 5, 2016

Ordinarily, I would not have spent money to watch a film actually starring two actors I do not particularly like -- Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick. Anyhow, the trailer of their film together about an autistic accountant looked like a promising drama. Upon watching it though, I felt the film transformed into something totally different from what I expected.

Christian Wolff is an autistic mathematical savant, who also grew up under his father's wing learning various military skills. He apparently sidelines as an accountant for criminal organizations. Raymond King of Treasury Department wants him identified and arrested. Meanwhile, as he was auditing discrepancies in the books of a robotics company owned by Lamar Blackburn, Wolff unexpectedly uncovers a complex plot, not only of embezzlement, but also with mercenary violence. 

Even though his physical appearance did not really connect, Ben Affleck was quite good in his quiet scenes with those little nuances which remind us of his character's autism. However, his sharpshooting and martial arts abilities were too mind-blowing and deadly to be realistic, especially for an accountant. It was like he combined his best buddy Matt Damon's most iconic characters Will Hunting and Jason Bourne into one character even more unreal than those two. 

Of course, veteran character actors J.K. Simmons (as King) and John Lithgow (as Blackburn) do well in their respective roles who were essential to the plot. Up and coming actor Jon Bernthal plays a plot-thickening character of unforeseen significance, that of Braxton Wolff, Christian's brother. Anna Kendrick plays yet another awkward character who had zero chemistry with Affleck for their relationship to matter much in the scheme of things.

"The Accountant" has a complicated multi-layered plot with many subplots and characters. Just as all the pieces were falling into place in the third act, it came up with more unlikely surprises. In the final analysis, a lot of supporting characters did not really need to be there to make the story work. What started as a sensitive character study in the beginning climaxed in an all-out violent shoot-em-up action sequence in the end. It was not bad, but a little too overstuffed for my taste. 7/10. 

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