Main cast: Ben Affleck (Christian Wolff), Anna Kendrick (Dana Cummings), JK Simmons (Raymond King), Jon Bernthal (Braxton), Jean Smart (Rita Blackburn), Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Marybeth Medina), Jeffrey Tambor (Francis Silverberg), and John Lithgow (Lamar Blackburn)
Director: Gavin O’Connor
For a movie with a respectable cast – well, a respectable cast and Anna Kendrick, that is – The Accountant sure has a script that is too easily disrespected. It is easy to blame scriptwriter Bill Dubuque for this, but then again, scripts don’t make a movie out of themselves on their own. Fortunately, this one does have its own so-bad-it’s-absurd moments, so it’s not a complete dud. Still, let’s blame Anna Kendrick anyway. Who keeps letting that annoying, irritating, barely talented lady into movies?
Anyway, Christian Wolff is an autistic fellow, which means Ben Affleck gets to spend the whole movie with just one single facial expression – that broody “I press my lips tightly together and gaze intensely ahead” thing that he does a lot in his movies whenever he wants to look edgy, angry, emo, Batman-y, and more. Hey, it’s a multi-functional look, okay? He is also a mathematical genius, being able to go through decades worth of account books in 24 hours to detect irregularities and such, so he is also the accountant for a variety of crime bosses and mob lords. This means he has to move often, lugging around a tiny little trailer-thing that he fills up with priceless paintings and comics that he is never seen to read. Christian is clearly a fake nerd who thinks keeping comics would up his cred.
Don’t worry about Christian working with criminals giving you moral conflicts, by the way. This movie cops out in that the people he working for here are shown to be morally corrupt, and he wants to use the money for a good cause, so the whole thing turns out to be a “People suck, so it is okay if I do bad things to them!” type of cliché.
In this movie, he signs up to discover the identity of an embezzler in Lamar Blackburn’s robotic company. He meets Dana Cummings and falls for her nails-on-chalkboard voice, her resemblance to a drowning spaniel, and her tendency to babble vapid inanities whenever she has screentime in this movie. Alas, he is a special autistic snowflake, so he can’t bring himself to give her the love he wants to give, sob sob. Still, he uncovers the embezzlement and Dana gets targeted by killers (no idea why, considering that she doesn’t know anything – I’d think it’d make more sense to hire them to kill Christian instead, but maybe they just want to kill Dana because she’s such an irritating creature).
Meanwhile, the leader of the killers hired by the bad guy lumbers around. Some FBI people are looking for Christian, but they don’t really do anything other than to be exposition device to tell the audience details about Christian’s past, and how Christian is nowhere as smart as the movie claims him to be. Seriously, laundering that much money through Moms and Pops businesses? For a guy who doesn’t want to get caught, he seems to be pretty careless – at one point, agent Marybeth Medina claims that Christian is trolling the authorities, but the rest of his actions here do not seem troll-like at all. I suppose I can only conclude that the script is dumb. Oh, and the hero’s brother keeps showing up in flashbacks, so it’s pretty clear that a reunion is written in the stars. Among the small cast of characters in this movie with only one guy that remotely falls into the age group that the brother would be in, whom can that brother be? The suspense is killing me, I tell you, and the casting people cleverly complicates this already perplexing mystery by casting a guy who doesn’t look in any way and form, even if I squint, even a little similar to Ben Affleck or the actors who play the parents.
Still, there is some silly absurd charm to this movie, as it’s not everyday that I get to see an autistic dude mow down people and kill them like they are his bitches. Unfortunately, the movie then pushes forth the message about how normie dreadlords constantly look down on people with autism, whom the movie insists to be capable of many amazing things (like stabbing people in the neck, making headshots with every pull of the trigger, helping criminals launder their money, and other productive activities) and thus should be treated with TLC. At the same time, the movie also shows autism to be responsible for the dissolution of families, and apparently the only way to raise a kid with autism is to subject him to grueling martial arts training in Indonesia, so that they can own and kill everyone that looks at them funny. There is some really weird and garbled message here, but that’s par for the course: The Accountant is essentially garbled mess that, at the same time, relies heavily on predictable, badly hidden twists and tired old noir clichés. Oh, and Anna Kendrick – her presence alone is enough to sink this movie by a significant margin.