At The Movies: The Accountant

If you’re desperate for a superhero movie to fill the void between “Suicide Squad” and “Doctor Strange,” check out “The Accountant.” It’s like what would happen if Batman was an autistic savant who’s really good with numbers…and guns.

Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, a quiet, reserved man who owns his own small accounting business in a strip-mall. But this is just a cover. Chris makes millions using his uncanny mathematical skills in the service of criminal kingpins and other dangerous people and organizations.

accountant_ver2And if he seems a little shy and peculiar, well that’s because he has autism. The film opens with a young Chris working on a puzzle and stemming while his frustrated parents try to find out what’s wrong. Chris’ long-suffering little brother sits in silence.

Chris’ father, a military man, rejects mom’s preference that they leave him at the nice, quiet institute where he can learn to deal with his condition. Dad is convinced the boy just needs tough, no-fooling-around, military-style training. Mom leaves. Dad and the boys travel the world learning how to fight and shoot and overcome autism through sheer force of will.

Damn. Why didn’t I think of that?

Chris grows up to become the kind of autistic savant that only Hollywood could dream up. He lives independently. He keeps everything important to him in a trailer so he can move at a moment’s notice. He has a mystery partner that deals with him via phone. He keeps an original Jackson Pollock on his ceiling.  Aside from his distant and sometimes brusque demeanor, he’s just like you and me.

But Chris’ activities have caught the attention of Commissioner Gordon, I mean, Treasury agent Ray King (J.K. Simmons). King is determined to find out who “The Accountant” really is before he retires, but leaves the heavy lifting to analyst Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson).

As Marybeth begins her investigation, Chris begins working for a new client, Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow), owner of a robotics company. One of his staff (Anna Kendrick) has noticed a discrepancy in the books and Chris has been brought in to straighten the books out.

But when a thug named Brax (Jon Bernthal) and his goons show up, waving their guns around, Chris realizes it’s time to put down the ledgers and start dealing out the hot lead.

“The Accountant” is pretty absurd but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s your typical action-thriller that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It plays out very much like a superhero origin story. The twist at the end gives the movie an unconventional ending.

Affleck and the rest of the cast are fine. The action sequences aren’t remarkable but they get the job done. “The Accountant” won’t win any Nobel prizes but it all adds up to an entertaining film.

 

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