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The Accountant

The Accountant: Affleck Action-Thriller Does’t Quite Add Up

  • Anna KendrickBen Afflek...
  • Action & AdventureDrama...
  • Gavin O'Connor
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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The Accountant: Affleck Action-Thriller Does’t Quite Add Up

While there is a certain atmosphere and a slow-burning tension present throughout The Accountant, there is also a lack of story and a sense of direction which swerves the plot’s initial potential down a ditch. Written by Bill Dubuque and directed by Gavin O’Connor, the main appeal of the movie rests with the lead performance, but even Affleck’s recent good form isn’t enough to make up for the movie’s many shortcomings.

The story follows Christian Wolff (Affleck); an introvert of a man who, since an early age, was diagnosed with a form of high-functioning autism. Thanks to his superb skills and knack for numbers, he has found himself in career as an accountant where he now manages the accounts and finances for a number of criminal organisations. His doings soon attract the attention of Treasury Department agent, Ray King (the underused J.K Simmons) who assigns newbie associate, Marybeth Medina (Addai-Robinson) to find Christian and uncover the many secrets he must be keeping

In order to stay ahead of the game and away from the authorities’ radar, Christian takes on a new client – a legitimate and a renowned robotics company – agreeing to uncover a recently-found inconsistency in their books. Paired with the company’s accounting clerk, Dana (Kendrick), who initially found the discrepancy, Christian begins digging for answers, but as the pair gets closer to the truth, they find themselves targeted by a contract killer (Bernthal) who has been hired to make sure that they don’t.

Taking on a little more than it can chew, Bill Dubuque’s needlessly complicated script tries to cram in one too many storylines and genre tropes at once. Mixing action with comedy and a relatively disturbing family drama – the part of the story which depicts Christian’s troublesome childhood spent with his military father (Treveiler) who refused to get him the treatment his son needed – The Accountant fails to fully develop any of its ideas, ultimately delivering a series of half-baked concepts with very little, to no effect.

What does work, however, is Ben Affleck who delivers one of his better performances in his career. Coming across as relatively cold and emotionally distant, Affleck’s somewhat stiff but ultimately charming performance provides the picture with the necessary weight; his rigid routine and personality quirks are portrayed through an interesting set of sequences and flashbacks. The problem is, however, that everyone else, including Kendrick’s bubbly Dana, act as nothing more than a set plot-devices there to progress the story further. 

Delivering some comparatively exciting action set-pieces, The Accountant is not a complete drag. However, while it may be fun to watch Affleck kick some serious ass, the overall result is underwhelming, with the picture coming across as somewhat desperate to please on too many fronts.

Like This? Try

State of Play (2009), Triple 9 (2016), The Sum of All Fears (2002)

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The Accountant was originally envisioned starring Mel Gibson, with the Coen Brothers directing.

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