Something Doesn’t Add Up
I think whatever you believe this film is… It’s probably not that.
I went in with expectations of an autistic kid who is excellent with numbers being used by the mob to make their operations look as legit Lehman Brothers financial services… or at least pre-2008 Lehman Brothers.
Obviously the social ineptitude that comes part and parcel with autism would provide reason for him to use violence without feeling remorse and along the way we would explore autism, we would learn something about the condition and about ourselves, we would grow and become better human beings.
None of that happened.
To be honest I don’t actually know what we got. It was sort of part action film, part crime thriller and part family drama. The Accountant’s biggest failing is its lack of commitment to any one genre.
The bonkers plot is straight out an action film. If you don’t really want an accounting problem solved then I’d suggest you hire someone who graduated at Billy Ballbag’s school of shoddy accounting… don’t just jump in at the deep end and hire the love child of Albert Einstein and Stephen freaking Hawkins.
Then again, the action scenes are quite good and Ben Affleck plays the role with relative conviction. I’ve always thought that he is best when he is playing the social outcast or someone who life has on the back foot. This is exactly the case here.
However, this type of verbally challenged character doesn’t particularly make for good interactions with other characters.
The result of this is that the moments that Affleck is communicating with his brother Brax (Jon Bernthal) or his boss Lamar Black (John Lithgow) are as empty as my dad’s promises to do the washing. You just sit there waiting for something interesting to happen.
The same is obviously true of his co-worker Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) which is a shame because Kendrick’s character is actually an enjoyable one to watch. Perhaps if the film had decided what it wanted to be then maybe there would have been room to further develop the relationship between Kendrick and Affleck.
Perhaps it could have also truly explored what it would be like to live with Autism rather than just use it as a mechanism to further the convoluted array of subplots. If, like me, you were expecting to learn anything from The Accountant then it’s simply this: autistic people don’t like social interactions but love ceiling mounted miniguns.
Ordinarily you could add up all of these parts and it would equal a truly impressive turd of a film yet there is something really watchable about The Accountant. Give it a watch. Just don’t hold me accountable if you don’t like it.
The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:
+ Some decent action
+ Anna Kendrick
+ It’s actually surprisingly watchable
– Confused genre
– Nothing really to do with Autism
– Bonkers plot with too many subplots