I love Ben Affleck.
I love all that he does in Hollywood. This adoration extends to The Accountant, which boasts a solid cast and story. The movie gets to an interesting place quickly by establishing a firm backstory of our protagonist, Christian Wolfe. Wolfe has high functioning autism and with the intense teachings of his father learns to function in society to at least appear “normal.” The truth is that he is far from it.
As far as a film, this is a pretty straightforward affair into the world of a proficient killer, when pushed into becoming one, hiding behind a seemingly normal life and tasked with performing very normal tasks. However, the plot takes certain interesting twists via flashbacks on Wolfe’s life with his father and brother as well as whenever J.K. Simmons is onscreen. At first glance, Simmon’s character seems to be a very paint-by-numbers white collar Federal Agent, going after high profile criminals with a long standing career of nabbing the bad guy. He has several months before retirement and finding out the identity of The Accountant is his last goal before walking off into the sunset.
Stop me if you’ve seen that one before.
Where I was most surprised and drawn in by The Accountant were in its quiet moments. Much like the main character’s temperament, there were times where the movie lived in the awkward moments of person to person interaction and the lack thereof and stood still for long periods of time on purpose. I could easily see these occurrences as turnoffs to some moviegoers quickly choosing to dismiss them as slow moments rather than trying to understand why they were there in the first place, but nevertheless I was able to find meaning and purpose in them which made me appreciate the action sequences all the more.
Of course, that doesn’t mean to say this was a perfect movie by any standards.
The Accountant suffered from a plot that was dangerously close to knotting itself at times and tried overly hard to escape those pitfalls by adding further twists and character gimmicks. These weren’t horrible, but noticeable from far away so that when they happened you were already two steps beyond in the plot and hoping the movie would catch up quickly and not get stuck under its own weight. I’m choosing to do the exact same thing with this review by dancing around the actual story in an effort to avoid certain spoilers so that if there is a chance you held out from seeing it this weekend you might read this and have it serve as the tipping point to spend money on it.
Truthfully speaking, I loved The Accountant and people that read this semi-review might be disappointed that I didn’t delve further into exactly what made this movie tick. The truth is, you’ve seen this movie before, but that is not entirely a bad thing because The Accountant takes those familiar tropes and actually does them well and with great quality. I laughed (Yes, there were funny moments) and leaned forward in my chair more than most around me during the viewing. I tried to see past some of the missteps and truly appreciate some of the decisions the film made about its story rather than be dismissive about them. This is something where I knew right away I will differ greatly from others who have seen this movie, which will then become an uphill trek to try and have a dialogue with those people as to why I enjoyed it and they didn’t. But, The Accountant stands as one of the more enjoyable films I’ve seen in theaters in quite sometime and is worth the admission price to see it.
You might ask why I’m giving it 5 Garys instead of maybe FOUR? Well, in the beginning I did give it FOUR GARYS, however, The Accountant has an accounting montage in it and that was what put it over the edge for me! AN ACCOUNTING MONTAGE!!!!!!
The Accountant: 5 Garys