REVIEW: The Accountant (2016)

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2016, Warner Brothers/Electric City Entertainment/Ratpac-Dune Entertainment/Zero Gravity Management

Director:
Gavin O’Connor
Producers:
Lynette Howell
Mark Williams
Writer:
Bill Dubuque
Cinematography:
Seamus McGarvey
Editing:
Richard Pearson

Cast:
Ben Affleck (Christian Wolff)
Anna Kendrick (Dana Cummings)
J.K. Simmons (Ray King)
Jeffrey Tambor (Francis Silverberg)
Jon Bernthal (Braxton)
Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Marybeth Medina)
John Lithgow (Lamar Blackburn)
Jean Smart (Rita Blackburn)
Andy Umberger (Ed Chilton)
Alison Wright (Justine)
Sean Lee (Young Chris)
Robert C. Trevalier (Mr. Wolff)
Ron Yuan (Pencak Silat Master)

Ben Affleck becomes an unlikely hero in this action packed thriller from Warrior director Gavin O’Connor.

Since he was a young boy, Christian Wolff has had his struggles with high-functioning autism. With help from a neurologist, Chris learns he is a savant when it comes to numbers. Under the tutelage of Francis Silverberg, Chris eventually uses his skills to become an accountant. However, he is no ordinary accountant. He actually works with some of the top criminal organizations in the nation and while no one knows his identity, which he keeps hidden, he is known simply as “The Accountant” and he is now targeted by soon to be retired federal agent Ray King and his new protege, Marybeth Medina.

Things are about to change in Chris’ life and business not just because of King and Medina. Chris’ latest assignment is to audit a company, Living Robotics, where their accountant Dana Cummings has noticed suspicious discrepancies. Shortly after Chris discovers the discrepancies, the company’s chief financial officer is confronted by a hitman who forces him to commit suicide. When Chris is relieved of his duties without completion, he soon learns something doesn’t add up and now he and Dana are targets. However, Chris has another ace in the hole when he reveals he is trained in both military tactics and the martial art of Pencak Silat when he is confronted. Will Chris and Dana be able to uncover the entire conspiracy before King and Medina can get to Chris?

Ben Affleck, fresh off his role as the new Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, drives this film that is so well-directed by Gavin O’Connor, whose previous work includes the hockey biopic Miracle and the MMA modern epic Warrior. What is very interesting with this film is the script written by Bill Dubuque. One can think of recent fare such as the 2008 Thai action film Chocolate, in which the film’s protagonist is autistic. Autism has various levels in the spectrum and here, we see Affleck’s Chris as a high-function autistic who is a math savant thus, him becoming the titular accountant.

Affleck really gives it his all as Chris, who finds himself a wanted man when he discovers a conspiracy involving a local company and their discrepancies. However, what’s great is that Chris is more than a savant. He is a fighter. And it is only when he is faced with danger that he must show his skills in military tactics as well as the martial art of Pencak Silat, which is highlighted not only in Affleck’s fight scenes, which shows he hard he trained for the film, but in a flashback, has the young Chris training under a master of the art, played by Ron Yuan. With the dedication he put into this film, perhaps if the Hollywood remake of The Raid ever comes through, Affleck should be involved or at least considered.

Anna Kendrick makes the most of her screen time as Dana, the fellow accountant who soon becomes Chris’ most trusted ally while J.K. Simmons plays it behind the scenes as federal agent King, putting his newest protege via blackmail doing all the work. The protege, Medina, is well played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who is best known for her role in the DC TV Universe as Amanda Waller on Arrow. The new Punisher, Jon Bernthal, is quite an interesting figure in the role of the mysterious hitman, who himself, harbors a dark secret. John Lithgow and Jean Smart make the most of their screen time as the siblings who run the company that Chris must try to help and eventually learn the truth about.

The Accountant is truly an exciting action film to watch, thanks to Ben Affleck’s autistic hero driving the film, showcasing both his dedication to acting and in action. The supporting cast do provide ample support and it is clear Gavin O’Connor has himself another solid entry in his filmography.

WFG RATING: A

This film is playing in theaters now. Check your local theater for showtimes.

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