After battling the Man of Steel last spring as Batman, Ben Affleck has removed the cape and cowl in exchange for a pocket protector in his new film The Accountant co-starring Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal. Don’t let Affleck’s new character Christian Wolff fool you with his glasses, spread sheets and quiet demeanor. This is one unique individual where there is so much more than meets the eye as the audience gets to know The Accountant.
As seen in the trailers for The Accountant, Wolff is more than just a mathematical genius who loves to unlock financial puzzles to gain the feeling of accomplishment. The numbers guy is skilled in hand to hand combat able to take out an entire family of mobsters with his bare hands and a swift kick to the head. Wolff also knows how to handle a gun if needed since he deals with numerous shady characters from around the globe in financial planning secrecy. This leads to some well done action scenes that leave you wanting more of Wolff unleashing his violent gifts to the world. The fisticuffs will have the audience saying “Damn!” as Affleck gets to show off his physical side punching his way through the people who are preventing him from solving the problem.
Christian is no hero considering the company he keeps, but things are not always black and white and there’s room for some gray markers in The Accountant‘s pocket as well. This turns into a very intriguing side of the focal character as the movie progresses towards its conclusions. The mysterious figure is not a hero or villain, but more of a checks and balances enforcer for a society where good and evil will always exist. Another interesting aspect of the character is Christian Wolff is living with Autism. Granted, it is a very high functioning form of the disorder, but you still see the struggle through Affleck’s strong performance as a guy who wants to fit in even though it’s a struggle to have a normal conversation considering he has no filter and is a wanted man.
The one negative concerning The Accountant is the amount of side stories going on in the film that don’t get their fair share of screen time they deserve. There’s a back story involving growing up with his brother and being raised by his military lifer father that needed more exposition. There’s another angle with a fellow nerdy accountant love interest in the form of Anna Kendrick that goes nowhere. The biggest miss is not focusing on Wolff’s illegal business dealing, which could have been ripe with material. If anything there needed to be a little more content to help tie everything together neatly, but there’s only so much substance you can cram into a running time of 132 minutes without it becoming too long.
Even if some questions are left to be unanswered, The Accountant is still a highly entertaining film that keeps you thinking after the calculations have been confirmed on-screen. The Accountant is one of those rare action films that manages to be smart, yet not get too involved in the math side of the story losing some viewers (myself included) whose numbers game may not be up to par. Was Christian good, bad or something else entirely different? That is the puzzle The Accountant leaves the audience with to solve on their own.
Overall, I give The Accountant 3 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell