The Accountant (2016)

The Accountant (2016)

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The Accountant (2016) As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.
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  1. Shafco

    Although there are no super-mutants nor heroes from another world in “The Accountant,” the movie still feels like the origin story for a comic book character. Ben Affleck portrays Christian Wolff, a high-functioning autistic savant who serves as an accountant for criminal organizations worldwide, while usually staying undercover in a small Illinois town. Christian has no friends, and his nightly routine is extremely disciplined and sad. Flashbacks to his childhood under the leadership of his soldier father, who constantly pushed his sons beyond their limits, helps explain why this accountant takes self-defense so seriously.

    When Christian accepts a job uncovering corruption at a robotics company and meets another accountant, Dana (Anna Kendrick), his habits and autism don’t allow him to express emotion. However, the actions he must take to defend her life set a plot in motion that’s full of suspense. I was reminded of films like “The Bourne Identity,” with its title character’s memory trouble while remembering how to use his fists and advanced weaponry. Wolff kills many people using creative methods, but shooting enemies in the head a couple times is his preferred method.

    Ben Affleck does decent work in the title role through all the mayhem. I kept hoping to see more character traits/flaws behind his blank stares, but maybe they’re saving some of that for upcoming sequels. Director Gavin O'Connor introduces several interesting characters around Christian, like the ones played by John Lithgow, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart, Jeffrey Tambor, and especially J.K. Simmons as a leader in the U.S. Treasury Department intent on finding Wolff. Without these supporting actors, “The Accountant” might just be another example of an actor seeking to impress by playing a handicapped character smarter than everyone, like Dustin Hoffman’s “Rain Man.”

    The action plot was not surprising to me, despite three plot twists toward the end. The movie’s most interesting concept is that people with disorders like autism might have abilities many people would consider super-human, which could appeal to many audiences. “The Accountant” has a lot of violence and some swearing that earn its R-rating. Nevertheless, if you’ve been able to enjoy the types of action portrayed in Bourne or James Bond movies, it’s not likely the violence or language in this film will trouble you. The most disturbing parts of the movie detail Christian’s nightly routine, involving very loud music, a strobe light, and rubbing a stick over his leg, before allowing himself to take a pill at 10:01pm. It seemed to me that Christian was forcing himself to deal with these traumatic types of stimuli because his father forced him to always confront his greatest fears, which made me want to see him break free and experience love. Without these scenes, perhaps Christian Wolff would have even seemed enviable, because of his wealth and strength. I believe the scenes could trigger epileptic seizures in some people, though, so be warned.

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