Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is an accountant who behind the cover of a small-town office works freelance for some of the most dangerous criminal organisations. When the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starts to close in, Christian is forced to take on a legitimate client in the form of a state-of-the-art robotics company. However as Christian starts to uncover a major discrepancy involving millions of dollars within the company, someone starts to come after him and happily kills off anyone who gets in the way. Christian must then work to uncover the truth about the missing money and find out just who exactly wants to keep him quiet.
The difference between this story line and that of other crime films is that Christian Wolff is Autistic. He struggles to connect to people, keeping to himself and his maths – something which he has an outstanding talent for. Throughout the film we are brought flashbacks to a young Christian (played fantastically by Seth Lee) as he and his family struggle to cope with his diagnosis. These are some very powerful scenes, particularly between Christian and his Army dad (Robert C. Treveiler) , who is incredibly tough on him. Ben Affleck gives a very good portrayal as Christian, his character is completely believable and there is a real vulnerability to him – aside from when he’s hunting down and killing the bad guys! For Christian is not only extremely good at maths he is also a pretty decent fighter.
J.K. Simmons is brilliant as Ray King, he has found out about an accountant who launders
money for criminals and spends the film tracing and tracking down Christian. There are some emotional scenes from King as some of his past events starts to link into the case and the reasons for his determination towards the case become clear. King is helped by Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) who has her own demons to contend with.
Helping Christian is Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), an employee of the robotics company who initially spotted a potential discrepancy. Initially ignored by Christian she persists in trying to strike up a friendship, it’s not until her life is in danger too that Christian takes it upon himself to look after her. We then see a sort of friendship form between the two – something which Christian is not used too and clearly struggles to know how to react when with her. Anna Kendrick is a great actress and here she’s in a more serious role to her other films. She plays Dana very well, she’s vulnerable and yet sees the potential in Christian and slowly gets him to open up to her. Anna and Ben work brilliantly alongside each other, their characters have a real chemistry and bounce off each other throughout the film.
There are lots of twists and turns and even though I worked out one of the biggest plot twists about halfway through, there’s still plenty to keep you guessing. The film is also surprisingly funny in places, it’s not a comedy at all but the dialogue is brilliantly written giving us some very witty one-liners. This stops the film from being too heavy going and also rounds the characters by making them more human and believable.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by The Accountant, I was expecting the usual crime film but because Christian has Autism there is a more vulnerable feel to the film – that’s not to say there isn’t plenty of action throughout! The chase between Christian and King as well as Christian and the missing money means that there is plenty going on, and though I got one of the twists long before it was revealed my friends didn’t so not everyone will necessarily see the connection straight away. There’s still a lot that you won’t see coming so you will be gripped throughout as more and more pieces of the puzzle are slowly revealed. It’s a good film, and one I would recommend.