Film & TV

Film Review: The Accountant

An autistic maths genius working in an accounting firm lives on the edge by fiddling the books for a myriad of crooked underworld organisations.

Having worked in several accounting firms, one could see The Accountant wasn’t based on true life. It’s more exciting and filled with unusual people who are rarely seen. That doesn’t make it any less entertaining as it makes the humble accounting office look like a hotbed of violent scandal and intrigue. It may perhaps make viewers more wary next time they go to one as it pays to always be nice to those who handle your monetary investments.

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is an autistic maths genius working in an accounting firm. Fiddling the books for a myriad of crooked underworld organisations, he lives on the edge whilst shuffling dodgy portfolios to hide from the taxman. When the crime enforcement arm of the Treasury Department as run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons) closes in, Wolff finds himself in danger. Events quickly escalate when missing millions and dead bodies start to mount. Using his analytical skills to his advantage, Wolff attempts to free himself from the deadly trap in which he finds himself.

The Accountant almost plays like a superhero movie. There’s the lead hero facing evil-doers at every turn and a mysterious villain intent on destroying him with much at stake. In this melting pot are issues about dealing with disability, the past and harnessing these with modern etiquette. With his autism being his ‘superpower’, Christian refuses to let any job be left unfished. This works to his advantage as his methodical zeal in dealing with dangerous interlopers makes him a formidable opponent.

While it isn’t perfect, The Accountant remains consistently engaging. Gavin O’Connor directs at a slow pace, allowing events to percolate. Where he comes unstuck is the story’s tonal structure. Blending humour, romance, action and drama, The Accountant is occasionally uneven with flashbacks to the past adding to an often confusing narrative. This takes focus away from the main story and characters. O’Connor could have better handled these elements although the interest level stays constant.

Despite its muddled screenplay, The Accountant has enough going for it to linger in the memory. It has plenty of twists to keep viewers on their toes. That makes for unpredictable viewing with its visions sure to make one question what goes on behind an accountant’s closed doors.

Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Twitter: @PatrickMoore14

Rating out of 10:  6

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