REVIEW: The Accountant
Director Gavin O’Connor calls The Accountant a puzzle film because there are multiple dimensions to just about every character in this action drama. The film, out Tuesday from Warner Home Entertainment, is a largely satisfying character study with more than its necessary quota of gunfire and mayhem,
Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is on the Autism spectrum and through flashbacks, we learn that his parents were at a loss of how to deal with him, leading to their divorce. Their father (Robert C. Treveiler), a decorated Special Forces PSYOP Officer, is left to raise his sons as he saw fit, which meant extensive military and martial arts training around the world. As they grew up, though, the boys went their separate ways and Christian used his gifts to become a forensic accountant for the Underworld. Known only as the Accountant, he was a bane to law enforcement all over but none more so than Detective Raymond King (J.K. Simmons), who wants this man found before his retirement. He hands the assignment to Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), who proves tenacious and doggedly methodical in her investigation.
Wolff takes on a new client, Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow), CEO of Living Robotics who has been told by one of his staff, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), that there may be financial irregularities. Quickly, Christian finds $61 million has been embezzled, probably by CFO Ed Chillton (Andy Umberger) who dies of a suspected insulin overdose. Christian is left dissatisfied that he is quickly dismissed but his life unravels when it’s clear he and Dana are targeted for death.
The movie kicks into a higher gear from that point on as Christian, unaccustomed to having personal attachments as an adult, finds himself yearning to find a way to connect with Dana, all the while continuing his investigation. We then have a cat and mouse game between Christian and the assassin (Jon Bernthal) and Christian and Medina. Throughout, we get the backstory slowly filled in and astute viewers can begin to connect various dots leading to some fun exchanges during the climax.
No one is entirely as they seem, which is one of the joys found in Bill Dubuque’s script. This applies to just about every character from art major turned accountant Dana to the assassin being more than a hired gun. As a result, this rises above your standard crime story or personal drama. The climax, set in Blackburn’s home, is overdone and overlong marring an otherwise very enjoyable film.
The high definition transfer and Dolby soundtrack are both excellent, making for a fine home viewing experience. The film can be found in 4K or your typical combo pack (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD).
Unfortunately, we are given three perfunctory special features: Inside the Man (10:36), Behavioral Science (8:02), and The Accountant in Action (7:12) where the cast and crew extol their efforts. The middle piece is the most interesting as a doctor talks about how Affleck and others worked with people on the spectrum in order to hone their performances and do them justice.