Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick star
In The Accountant, Ben Affleck is Christian Wolff, the first autistic action hero. In flashback, we’re introduced to Chris as a boy. There’s a family crisis when the parents of young Chris (Seth Lee), a bundle of nervous tics, debate whether or not to place him in a home run by a neurologist specializing in autism. The kindly doctor (Jason Davis) explains the meaning behind Chris’s obsessive behavior and believes he can help him. The father (Robert C. Treveiler) favors tough love and wins the argument. By the time we meet him as an adult, Chris is putting his genius level math skills to use as an accountant. He’s no ordinary CPA. His clients include international crime cartels. In the past, he served time with a fellow mob accountant played by Jeffrey Tambor who tutored Christian in basic social skills.
At the Department of Treasury, Ray King (J.K. Simmons) blackmails analyst with a past Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help solve a case involving conspiracies across the globe. If he can’t wrap it up quickly, he can’t retire in peace.
A robotics company hires Christian to diagnose an accounting anomaly. The company is owned by Lamar and Rita played by veteran actors John Lithgow and Jean Smart. In a montage sequence reminiscent of Good Will Hunting (1997), Christian discovers where and how the money is leaking.
Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) is the employee who first pointed out the problem to her bosses. Unfortunately, it was a case of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Her life and that of Christian are in danger. Some very bad people are after them. Christian’s martial arts and marksmanship skills, a good thing when people are trying to kill you, come in handy.
His main antagonist is the enforcer Brax, played with a broken nose pugnacity by John Bernthal. Brax is supposedly working for Robotics owner Lamar. But, who’s really in charge?
Working from an original screenplay by Bill Dubuque, director Gavin O’Connor with cinematographer Seamus McGarvey excite and entertain. The Accountant works both as an action film and an exploration of a protagonist with unique mental skills and challenges.
Influenced by the classic stars of the past, Kendrick also gives one of her best performances as a young woman who begins falling for a man who cannot express emotion. The love story may be unfulfilled but expect plot payoffs and a satisfying conclusion.