If you’re like me then you’ve often wondered what a movie would be like if Bruce Wayne was an Autistic crime-fighting vigilante, and Commissioner Gordon and Amanda Waller teamed up to stop him, while the Punisher was trying to kill the hero and his girlfriend, Squirrel Girl. Okay, so maybe I never thought of that before, but, nevertheless, The Accountant is as close as we’re likely to get to that awesome ‘what-if’ scenario.
This new Ben Affleck action vehicle plays like a goofy-but-fun cross between John Wick, Rain Man and Kill Bill, and it’s an exciting new spin on the well-worn action/thriller genre. Although I’m not quite sure how autism activists are going to view the movie’s portrayal of an anti-hero with the neurodevelopmental disorder (i.e. positively, negatively or neither); either way this is a pretty darn entertaining movie.
Christian Wolff (Affleck) has overcome his affliction and a jerky military Dad by focusing his foibles on detailed book-cooking for corrupt clients, like drug lords and other nefarious evil-doers. And after his work is done, when his clients attempt to shut him up or are otherwise unappreciative of his accounting efforts, Chris is perfectly capable of using more actionable means to take care of business and balance his books.
Enter Lamar Black (John Lithgow), a robotics-research genius who hires Wolff to analyze a bookkeeping discrepancy that one of his own bean-counters, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), has found. But when the accountants figure out that someone has been fleecing the organization, people start to die and Dana & Chris become the targets of a paid assassin, Brax (Jon Bernthal from The Walking Dead.) Queue up calculators, Karate and lots of killing.
The Accountant also stars J.K. Simmons (the original J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man) as a Department of the Treasury director; Cynthia Addai-Robinson (whom you might recognize as Amanda Waller from the Arrow TV Series) as a would-be Treasury agent; and Jeffrey Tambor (Tom Manning from Hellboy) as an incarcerated criminal bookkeeper. All three characters are involved in a sub-plot that, unfortunately, could have been cut from the film altogether and never would have been missed.
In addition to an all-star cast of nerd-centric actors, our hero, Wolff, uses the money he doesn’t donate to charity to collect an array of high-dollar geek collectibles, like comics and a rare lightsaber. My kind of hero!
This film has a few loose ends and it is far from a perfect story, but it’s a helluva lot of fun, with more than a couple of big, laugh-out-loud moments; and it does a great job of setting up a mythos for the very likable and badass character of Christian Wolff, with an ending that is sure to lead to a sequel – and you can count me in on it. Grade: 7.5/10
Photos © 2016 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.