Screenwriter Bill Dubuque and director Gavin O’Connor managed to create a (so far) successful action movie about an accountant. It’s a story with plenty of humor, a well written cast, and a plot that feels half baked.
The Accountant is an action thriller starring Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff, who is a freelance accountant for criminal organizations. Wolff has a severe form of Autism which makes it difficult to relate to and carry out conversations with others. Wolff decides to take a job auditing a robotics corporation called Living Robotics. There Wolff meets the equally odd and quirky Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), the in-house accountant for Living Robotics. Together they get mixed up in a dangerous embezzlement scheme by someone in the company.
J.K. Simmons plays the director of financial crimes at the U.S. Treasury Department. He brings in Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help identify the mysterious vigilante accountant.
There are plenty of good aspects of The Accountant, but the continuity of the plot is one of the weakest. I ultimately feel that The Accountant bit off more then it could chew. The filmmakers attempted to create a complicated story, involving many interwoven characters and subplots. Little did they succeed.
Even after watching and analyzing the film, I still do not understand all the details. I had trouble just summarizing the main points of the film. I love when a film can take on complex subjects and material, but it must be coherent. Movies like Memento and Inception both take on complex subjects, but both still make sense in their own way.
The film also flashbacked to the past at least a dozen times, which didn’t help to keep the plot on track. Many of the flashbacks didn’t make much sense on why they were placed where they were. It was hard to focus on the events happening now as well as all the events from the past.
In my opinion, I believe the enjoyment audiences will get from The Accountant will not be in the way the story was told, but in how well it was performed.
The strongest point of The Accountant is, not surprisingly, Ben Affleck’s character and performance. I’m not sure how accurate Affleck’s portrayal of Autism is, but it is definitely compelling. He’s the kind of character written so that those with Autism can look up to him, like their own superhero.
Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, and J.K. Simmons also bring in good performances. Kendrick builds an awkward but charming relationship with Affleck, and it’s hard not to be entertained by Simmons no matter the role.
There is a surprising amount of humor in this film, and it all works pretty well. People in the theater were laughing hysterically at all the awkwardness in Ben Affleck’s character. The weird dialogues he shared with Anna Kendrick were funny, but they also gave interesting insight into how difficult it is for those with Autism to carry out conversations.
The climax of the film ends with a big showdown between Affleck and the antagonists. The fight is well shot and worth the wait, just like the other action scenes in the film. The twist during the climax of The Accountant will be a hit or miss for viewers. I saw it from a mile away, but many in the theater were shocked by it.
Too me, I think the story of The Accountant is very incoherent and choppy. I’m sure there are plenty of people who will view The Accountant and find the overly complicated story refreshing. In a world of overly simplified action thriller plots, this might just be the film some are looking for. So if you want to see a complex, often times confusing action thriller with great performances from respectable actors, The Accountant will be a good choice for you.