The Accountant is an exciting old-fashioned actioner, that utilises Ben Affleck’s brawny leading man persona to perfection. Gavin O’Connor delivers a bone crunching thriller, which is reminiscent of the type of thing you would have thrown your cash down for at the multiplex box office way back in the pre-CGI 1990s.
Ben Affleck is Christian Wolff, a highly functioning autistic accountant who cooks the books for anyone willing to pay him enough cash. He takes the occasional legit job so as to not draw attention to his creative accounting and finds himself working for John Lithgow’s robotics millionaire. When the numbers don’t add up, Wolff is drawn into a conspiracy that he didn’t expect, taking Anna Kendrick’s junior account along for the ride. However, the bad guys don’t know that Wolff is also a serious bad-ass who is as handy with his fists and a machine gun as he is with a numbers and calculator. Also on Wolff’s tail is J.K Simmons’ curious Treasury agent and Jon Bernthal’s mysterious hit-man.
Outside of his gigs in the cape and cowl, Ben Affleck has been established as the go-to star for adult thrillers (The Town, Argo, Live Ny Night) and The Accountant continues this trend. It might be a little more popcorny than his aforementioned directorial efforts, but he’s still got a powerful screen presence. He sells the comedy and the action here, but also manages to deliver some impressive dramatic notes to help get across Wolff’s autism.
Gavin O’Connor directs with serious verve. He ensures that the plot keeps moving, making you don’t realise how silly it all is. Throughout his career, O’Connor has always looked at how violence converges with men’s lives and The Account continues that trend. He tries to add some depth into proceedings but he knows that he’s here to serve up a juicy gourmet action burger.
Some will attack The Accountant for its silliness, but I embrace it’s aim to entertain. Ben Affleck makes for a great leading man and Gavin O’Connor surrounds him with a great supporting cast. This is the type of big budget thriller that people used to flock to in a time before spandex and a solid $154 million worldwide (from an economical $40 million budget) shows there’s still interest in movies like this. The Accountant sets itself up nicely for a potential sequel and it would be a shame if we didn’t see more of Affleck’s numbers-savvy action man.