Don’t be fooled by the title – The Accountant is violent fun, punctuated by laugh out loud moments and unexpectedly strong drama. Surely a franchise starter, the film builds a consistent world that’s at turns realistic and ridiculous, and, in an unusual turn of events, chooses not to ham-fistedly spell every single thing out for its audience. Fortunately, given how silly it can get.
Despite juggling a potentially fatal number of competing elements – coming across as a Frankensteined hybrid of John Wick and A Beautiful Mind with hints of the over-seriousness of Zack Snyder (yet somehow in a good way) – whether by accident or design, The Accountant strikes an ever-watchable balance.
As his character – a high-functioning autistic accountancy whiz and arse-kicker – suggests, Affleck has plenty to work with, including the challenge of not going full Simple Jack with his performance. He’s not terribly successful at hiding his movie star charisma behind an affected remove, but is aided considerably by the fact that as Christian Wolff he’s not gunning for an Oscar but a bunch of bad dudes. And doing so in the role of someone who’s successfully learned to pass as “Joe average” – for the most part.
Though we’re spared a predictable romantic subplot (where it would fit in this long-ish jumble is anyone’s guess), there’s still plenty to enjoy about Affleck’s screen time with Anna Kendrick, the strongest of a supporting cast that’s almost uniformly underutilised. That doesn’t get in the way of enjoying The Accountant, though – its sombre savant is star enough, backed up with solid action sequences and plenty of interesting elements jostling for attention – in a manner that couldn’t be further from rote, risible fare such as the recent Jack Reacher sequel.