Do you like puzzles? Do you like peeling back the layers to unveil secrets and details that are hidden underneath? With The Accountant we are given a complicated to puzzle to solve. On one side we have Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) who is very quiet, avoids eye contact with people and likes to stay on track with whatever task he is involved in; while the other involves Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and her quest to identify a mysterious person who has been photographed with some not nice so individuals. There are many questions that arise while trying to understand the character of Christian Wolff. Is he a vigilante or a cold-blooded killer? What is he really involved in? How will this end?
The story begins when Christian Wolff is assisting a couple with their taxes. As we follow Christian we begin to see that he has a routine; he goes to work, involves himself with bright lights and loud music that relates to his childhood, is extremely organized with eating and something inside a storage room. He is brought in to look at the accounting books for the past couple of years at a company that specializes in robotic prosthetics after Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) an accounting agent finds some irregularities. Without revealing what happens we are given some intricate stories involving murder, torture, theft, and a history about who Christian Wolff really is.
During the course of the film we see some of Wolff’s flashbacks from his childhood. At first It was surprising that his father was treating him the way that he does, but after some time, I came to understand. Christian is autistic and his father played by Robert C. Treveiler believes that unless he faces the troubles that arise throughout his life, it will only hurt him and slow him down. Christian is taught how to defend himself and to not succumb to bullies and the pressures of life. Early in the film we hear Wolff’s parents talking to a man who operates a home for the autistic and kindly refers to them as different and unique. Christian is unique and the things that he is taught throughout his younger years play a key role into the man that he becomes.
Affleck is great in this role as the quiet man who prefers to keep things simple because it’s all he’s known in his life. What’s great about this film is that it doesn’t need explosive action or car chases to keep our attention. The simple fact of creating unique characters kept me very involved. J. K. Simmons is Ray King, a Treasury investigator who is about to retire and wants to learn who this mysterious man is, and Jon Bernthal as Brax, an assassin who is quick with his hands but also his mouth. Some of the dialogue with Brax is funny, cruel, and all engrossing. Not to mention John Lithgow as Lamar Black the CEO of the robotics company. And lastly there is Anna Kendrick who is Dana. She is surprised by the initial meeting between her and Wolff who seems almost standoffish. She is curious by Wolff, and Kendrick plays her demeanor very well. She is someone who is smart and it’s nice to see that she’s isn’t used for a relationship character.
Verdict: 4 out of 5
Despite some lingering questions that I was asking myself as the film came to a close, this was an impressive film as the story unfolded. It a mystery that we have to pay attention to and watch as those layers come off to reveal more and more. Even though some twists and turns can be foreseen, the dedication for character development over action sequences makes up for that little flaw. This film reminded me of The International which is almost the same. The thrills are there, but it takes time for much to happen because too much action could distract us from the story. Here, the story is solid and Christian Wolff is a special, unique person and when the action hits, it hits hard. The film does flow gracefully and moves rather slowly which is a nice build up to it’s ending. But is he really good or bad? That’s for you to investigate. Good thing it isn’t tax season yet!