I’m not going to lie, The Accountant disappointed me. It disappointed me because, after movies like Argo and The Town, I thought The Accountant would be another Ben Affleck thriller that’s as good as those two. Not only was The Accountant not as good, but it was well under the bar in it’s storytelling and overall quality.
The premise itself is a bit laughable. Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a natural at accounting who does financial dealings with some of the worst corrupt criminals around the world. He is also an excellent marksman and combat fighter. Oh and he is autistic as well. Wolfe is told to work at a legal business called “Living Robotics” to keep a low profile from the CIA. While there, he meets Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) and as they both find a gaping hole in “Living Robitics” accounting system the action kicks in. The premise wouldn’t be laughable if the movie tackled it’s themes head-on but it doesn’t.
Ben Affleck: Good but Cringe Inducing
The problem is not Ben Affleck’s performance but the character that he has to play. Because Affleck’s character is autistic, Affleck deliberately plays him in an antisocial manner. He is stone-faced expressionless throughout the whole movie (even when he is fighting and killing) crosses his arms a lot and speaks in a forced monotone.
Imagine Good Will Hunting meets Jason Bourne and you have Christian Wolff. Aside from his performances with Anna Kendrick, I was detached from his performance.
I really did not get much out of watching The Accountant. Especially when there are no narrative stakes because Affleck can easily kill bad guys without a struggle or an expression from his expressionless face. Aside from scenes from Affleck and Kendrick (which weren’t that many) and the flashback of Affleck’s character as a child, there was nothing I enjoyed.
Subplots and Twists that Never Add Up
The second problem is the movie’s scattershot layout with threads of subplots that don’t meet up. The subplots don’t gel well with the main story and they are convoluted messes that don’t add up. One of the subplots involves police detective Ray King (JK Simmons) who blackmails an analyst to help him with the case of finding who “The Accountant” is. This investigation cost countless lives and SPOILER ALERT at the end King reveals the investigation was all a test. I was just stunned. END OF SPOILERS
Maybe I am the autistic kid watching the movie because I heard from other reviewers as the one’s I heard said it was funny because it was deliberately bad. I saw no humor in it whatsoever. It was played out as a serious film with a confusing plot that slows down by act two so I then was confused and board.
What was really bewildering were the final reveals. Jesus Christ, they were godawful. They were jaw-dropping for all the wrong reasons. Not only did they not add up and not only were they overly cliched but they were fantastically stupid. I swear to God it is more unbelievable than the twist in The Tourist with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. It’s that bad.
The cliff notes in closing: Ben Affleck is a good actor but his role is horrible; Affleck is good with Kendrick and that’s it; The story is confusing and the twists are god-awfully dumb and the momentum is screeched to a halt halfway through. The likable elements to the film were not enough for me to recommend it. It was really disappointing for me to watch expecting so much but getting so little. *1/2