The Accountant was one that I hoped would be entertaining on a superficial level, but it takes its preposterous and incoherent story head on with a dour straight face. Ben Affleck plays an autistic savant great with cracking numbers who moonlights as an assassin. Affleck is rock steady and not completely uninteresting as a character. As the case with such a conspiracy thriller, the said hero takes on more than he bargained for. What makes this particular character different is that he is too emotionless to flinch.
Our guy is Christian Wolff who has supposedly lived off a high number of unexplained unconventional gigs that involve accounting and human termination. Wolff’s latest gig is a high-paying contract job to do the books for a multi-million dollar company called Living Robotics, with John Lithgow as the inventor genius. But there’s shady missing financials missing in the amount of sixty-plus million dollars, Wolff is not pleased to learn, so after that point, the company now wants our Accountant dead. Keep in mind, Wolff’s expertise is smoothing out the books for a few missing dollars… but not that much! That’s unethical! My interest with the movie nosedived at that point.
The motivations behind every character fail to make the simplest common sense. If Living Robotics was hiding something, and they wanted to keep hiding something, why did they hire our brainiac hero Accountant and not some venal swine the CEO can push around? Also, why do they feel they have to rub out Beca from “Pitch Perfect” (I’m referring to Anna Kendrick), when they could have easily just dispatched her junior accountant to a different department within the company? Or fire her and give her a nice severance package that would be cheaper than shelling out dough to high-paid assassins?
Also in the picture is a treasury agent played by the always dependable character actor J.K. Simmons, who can bring distinguishability to any character. But here’s a guy that blackmails an analyst at the beginning of the picture (she is Cynthia Addai-Robinson), only later to inappropriately disclose all his vulnerable secrets to her late in the game. Doesn’t he have a close WASP friend to tell privileged information to?
“The Accountant” isn’t ultra-violent but it is overcooked violent. The bad assassins try to target some harmless farmer-like folks at one point just to bait Wolff. This is to what, not call attention to themselves??! Simply said, “The Accountant” is probably the most ludicrous thriller with big talent names behind it since, not just 1997’s “The Jackal,” but 1983’s “The Osterman Weekend” (rent that if you feel like having not just boredom, but really want to torture yourself). I’m surprised more people haven’t been more outspokenly angry against “The Accountant.”
128 Minutes. Rated R.
ACTION-SUSPENSE / BRAIN MELTDOWN / BAD MOVIES WE HATE
Film Cousins: “The Osterman Weekend” (1983); “Rain Man” (1988); “The Jackal” (1997); “The Memory of a Killer” (2005, Belgium).