Never take people at face value, people are made up of many complex layers and Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant emphatically uncovers the secret layers of those who would appear dull on the surface such as Ben Affleck’s Accountant Christian Wolff.
Affleck – who has come into The Accountant fully pumped from his role as Batman in Batman Vs Superman – dressed in a dull grey suit and donning a pair of classes looks every inch an accountant, one who has spent way too much time down the gym, but holds a dark secret, a secret which brings some fun with a number of twists but is also flawed with a haphazard side story which seems to have been tossed into the pot to give it some substance but its flavour is overpowered by its main ingredient.
Christian Wolff (Affleck) on the surface is just your normal accountant but his clients make up some of the world’s most powerful crime lords. He accepts payments of thousands of dollars as well as priceless pieces of art while having a secret Winnebago hidden away which stores his priceless possessions and his cash – all in case he has to make a quick getaway at the drop of a hat. When the treasury department undertakes an investigation into Wolff he finds himself having to take on a ‘normal’ client just for appearance’s sake. This client however, proves he is just as dangerous as everyone else as he uncovers where the companies missing money – with the assistance of Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) – has been disappearing – envision Wolff in a glass office with mathematical scribbling’s covering every inch of the walls – everything has to be meticulous as we discover Wolff has autism.
We cut to constant flashbacks of Wolff as a child along the way, being brought up by a military father who shows no sympathy to his son who endures bullying and teaches the young Wolff to fight back with back-up from his silent brother. Whilst all this is taking place we have the loosely linked story of a treasury analyst Marybeth Medina played by Cynthia Addai-Robinson and her boss Treasury Agent Ray King played by J.K. Simmons. King – who is due to retire – unearths some unsavoury information about Marybeth’s past and blackmail’s her into finding out who The Accountant really is. We are bogged down in so much detail which isn’t needed, an overload of information on a part of the story which has no real importance, as we are taken back via more flashbacks into Marybeth’s and Ray King’s past.
Wolff also has a companion in what at first appears to be just a voice at the other end of a device – something quite reminiscent of Kit from David Hasselhoff’s Knight Rider. Along with Affleck’s deadpan reactions, this Kit like voice adds to the humour to take off the edge of all the number and nose crunching. As Wolff’s life is in danger so is that of Dana, and with the developing feelings he has for her Wolff has to flex his muscles culminating in one almighty battle which ends on quite an odd note.
If people are still smarting over Affleck as Batman, The Accountant will go nowhere near rectifying their perceptions. He has that same stony face and average acting ability, this script doesn’t give the slightest of test endurance to an actor that has so much more in his arsenal.
The Accountant is out in cinemas November 4th.