The Accountant is directed by Gavin O’Connor, recently directed Jane Got a Gun and Warrior and stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, and John Lithgow, quite a mighty crew. Our writer is Bill Dubuque this time around, who also recently wrote The Judge back in 2014. The Accountant is the story of, well, an accountant named Christian Wolff, who has autism. After numerous events in his that occurred in his childhood he begins leading a double life. After a while, his work starts raising heads and an investigation is launched by the Treasury Department as things begin to pile up. And thus we have our movie.
Seeing the trailers for The Accountant gave me a lot of doubt. It looked like just a normal action movie, some dude who has a boring job but is crazy super awesome behind the scenes. I wasn’t too excited on watching it until all the reviews came in. Everyone was saying it was good, which was a shock to me, it didn’t look appetizing, so what was the deal. After seeing the movie for myself, I see now why everyone is giving this movie some pretty high praise. The movie takes things to a whole new level. Instead of Ben Affleck being just an accountant, there’s a reason why he’s an accountant. There’s a reason why he’s so clean and elegant with his work when it comes to being a hitman. There is a surprising amount of heart written into this movie, and it really shows. The Accountant did not disappoint.
Ben Affleck plays the main character, Christian Wolff, the accountant. He does a great job in this movie. Playing a character with autism really puts a spin on things, and I feel it really works here. I’ll get into the message a little later (since it ties into the character), but I do like this character trait, it makes for an interesting movie that I haven’t seen before. It’s used to its advantage without taking it too far and over-dramatizing it. The character traits that Affleck portrays is laid back when compared to how Hollywood could so easily have done it, and I feel it makes it more believable. We know he has autism, but the movie interestingly doesn’t make it a plot device, just a character trait like I said before. When we see flashbacks of when Affleck’s character was a kid, we see how bad it was and how he learned and is learning to cope with it. I’ve met kids who have autism, and have a soft spot for them, and seeing them be portrayed in this movie the way it is, I feel it was done just right.
Anna Kendrick plays Danna Cummings who befriends Christian Wolff. I didn’t realize that she was cast in this movie, it was a pleasant surprise to see her. I’m glad to see her branching out into other roles other than Pitch Perfect. And she really works here too, Kendrick did a fantastic job. I wish she could have had more screen time in the movie. I really liked her character, and I especially enjoyed the relationship between her and Affleck.
One thing that is mentioned in this movie is that Christian Wolff has a hard time making friends. And when he starts getting closer with Cummings I really want them to get closer and for Wolff to connect with someone. And the relationship built between Wolff and Cummings became my favorite part of this movie. They play very well with each other, and it’s a very sweet relationship. My only issue with it is that, just like Kendrick’s character, I wish it lasted longer than what it did. I felt this was one of the strongest points of the movie. I understand what they are going for here and why Kendrick left so early, I just wanted more of it, it worked so well. My favorite scene in the movie was when Affleck and Kendrick were in a hotel room talking. It’s a simple but so effective scene. It was at that point of the movie that I was so engrossed by it that I didn’t want the film to end, I didn’t want the scene to end. I wanted it to keep going with Kendrick and Affleck building this relationship. For me, this was what made this movie so great, the character building of Christian Wolff and the relationship built between him and Danna Cummings.
I know the scene where the movie officially hooked me, it was when Affleck is brought in to review a case of possible money laundering in a very large company. He has to sift through 15 years’ worth of financial records. This was the first time we get to see how smart Ben Affleck’s character is and our introduction to Anna Kendrick. From here until towards the end of the movie, I was hooked and completely engrossed in it, and that’s one of the biggest complements I can give a movie.
As much as I do really like this movie, it does have some minor flaws to it. The movie is pretty long at a little over two hours. As the third act looms over the horizon, I began to feel its length. And when the movie does end, it completely spills its message to the audience, as if we didn’t know what it was anyways. I really like this movie’s message, but in that ending scene the film tells the audience straight up “this is what this movie is about”, which really irked me. The rest of the movie was engaging its audience to let them follow along with the story. I guess the writer just didn’t feel the message was completely hammered in, or that it would be taken a wrong way. Either way, I feel it could have been removed and wouldn’t have changed the message at all. I also felt that Wolff’s brother doesn’t really have much development to him, which is a shame. The movie tells us that Wolff’s brother is very special to him, but there isn’t much there for me to care for him or their relationship.
This movie has a very interesting message regardless of my issues with its presentation at the end, one that an audience can really learn from. It goes against what society can so easily stereotype those with autism to be like. The Accountant turns that on its head for the audience to learn something new, and I enjoy that and appreciate it very much. I always like movies that take a societal stereotype and turn it on its head to teach a lesson.
If you couldn’t tell before, I really, really enjoyed The Accountant. It was unexpectedly good. I did not think it would be this great. It’s something the audience can enjoy and learn from, and is a movie that engages its audience without spoon-feeding them every detail. It treats its audience with maturity and respect, and asks its viewers to think as the movie goes along, which makes this an experience. I feel the things that are good in this movie out-weigh the bad to make this movie great. This is a movie experience, it’s this type of filmmaking that is my favorite. Something I can think about as I experience it, with a message that I can learn from in the end. It didn’t have as much action as I thought there would be, but I think it works better this way. I feel this is an interesting time to release a movie with this message. I would love to own this movie on Blu-Ray. I’m going to give The Accountant an 8/10 with a high recommend.