Accountants are generally thought of as a bit different. They march to the beat of their own numbers-driven drums. In the film The Accountant, Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is brought in to check the books for a variety of businesses including some that aren’t listed in the Fortune 500.
Drug cartels, arms brokers, money launderers and assassins are just some of those who seek Wolff’s services. He is more than an accountant, and when discretion is required in finding missing money, Wolff is the guy to do it.
As a man with high-functioning autism and a definite sense of right and wrong, Wolff uses a number of strategies to get through the day. He takes his assignments from a mysterious voice on the other end of the phone. His current client is a robotics firm that works directly with consumers, other companies and the government. As Wolff analyzes the books and finds some missing money, his revelation leads to a number of dead bodies and a fight for his own survival. What those trying to eliminate Wolff don’t realize is that he also has had military-style training courtesy of his father.
The winner in this film is Ben Affleck. His portrayal of Wolff is spot on as he displays the mannerisms and the personality one might expect from someone with his disorder. Director Gavin O’ Connor puts Affleck through the paces and exploits his strengths alongside a great cast. Anna Kendrick plays Dana Cummings, the robotics firm’s in-house accounting department employee who first finds the discrepancy in the numbers. As Wolff takes a liking to Dana, she turns into a love interest, but one that feels totally natural here and not forced the way onscreen romances sometimes do.
And I’m a big fan of the small role played by J.K. Simmons and smaller roles played by Jon Bernthal, Cynthia Addai-Robinson and even John Lithgow and Jean Smart. This solid cast put together in supporting Affleck is extremely strong here. However, a series of flashbacks documenting the experiences that led Wolff to become the man he is today tend to be more confusing than helpful. A bit more attention to that aspect would have enhanced the film.
That said, The Accountant pays off and finds a way to intrigue and fascinate along with offering up a few well-placed laughs during the suspense-filled story. Hand me a pocket protector. I’m on board with an audit of a movie date to experience all The Accountant has to offer.
The Accountant is available On Demand beginning Jan. 10. Check your cable system for availability.