The Accountant is a smorgasbord of action cliches with an uninvolving story and convoluted plot lead by an uncharismatic cyborg.
Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.
Ben Affleck seems to have pivoted his career towards action movies after being casted as Batman.
But his work in front of the camera doesn’t go as well as his projects behind it.
The Accountant does offer some action thrills. There are fights in close quarters and shootouts that aren’t memorable as Bourne, but distracting enough to be entertaining. The rest however, looks like what would happen if DC made a movie about Batman if he were an autistic bookkeeper.
The writers, as if going through a Dewey Decimal System of B-movie antics, throws in a bunch of cliches that result into an overstuffed plot. The autistic savant turned legend with an origins story from a broken home (complete with a training clip from an Asian master), love interest with a manic pixie dream girl, a crime procedural involving a mysterious figure, an arch nemesis who turns out to be someone from his past and corporate espionage. The movie plays with all these plot strands and connects them through flimsy contrivances, but never commits to anything.
Naturally, the characters become stereotypes. Ben Affleck gives what the role needs, but ends up as a flat uncharismatic cyborg with his own lair and a British assistant. It worked for Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy because he’s supposed to be a dim-witted superhuman. The movie tries to humanize Christian Wolff using a love interest, but the rest of the story renders that useless. The rest of the cast also got their own screen time, but they’re forgettable figures around The Rainman, such as Jon Bernthal playing an assassin that Blofeld would have liked and Jeffrey Tambor reprising George Bluth Senior.
In the end, The accountant finishes with two ridiculous revelations. The movie also implies that we should ignore any crime as long as the perpetrator gives information about other criminal activities.
The Accountant is a mediocre action thriller that will eventually pop up in HBO. It can serve as a distraction if you completely gloss over the story, plot and characters. But why not just watch a serviceable action flick that knows what it’s supposed to do?
My Rating: 4/10