Hot Take: Once it gets going, The Accountant is pretty good. Even if there are some hard to swallow coincidences along the way.
In the first act of The Accountant, there are plenty of opportunities to check out. The film has a slow start. Saddled with a lot of storytelling baggage, The Accountant eventually sheds the excess weight somewhere in the second act and becomes an escapist action flick only hampered by the immense amount of happenstance and coincidence the writers decided to cram in the film.
While it doesn’t take the best path getting there, The Accountant ends up being a highly watchable action movie. Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff, an autistic math savant with military-grade training that gives him the ability to become a lethal killing machine at the drop of a hat, is fairly engrossing in his role. He’s not Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man but there’s a level of entertainment achieved in The Accountant that you don’t expect considering how rough of a start the movie gets. His lack of chemistry with the rest of the cast is deliberate and adds some humor to the proceedings.
Anna Kendrick plays Dana Cummings who ends up becoming a target as Wolff uncooks the books for a company she works for. Her character discovers an error which leads to Wolff being brought in. When he uncovers more, everyone is on the hit list. This provides John Lithgow the opportunity to steal every scene he’s in as Lithgow typically does. Lithgow appears as Lamar Blackburn, the head of the company Affleck’s Wolff is hired to assist. J.K. Simmons and Jeffrey Tambor also have small roles in the movie. Like Lithgow, Simmons and Tambor provide some solid moments in what would become an overstuffed thriller if you cared that much about the plot twists.
However, it’ll be the action that fuels the second half of the movie. There’s enough action in the third act to overlook the silly plot twists and endless sequence of coincidences that bring all of these characters together. There’s a chance you won’t be able to overlook the faults of this movie which means you’ll be missing out on some entertaining (but violent) action that adds up to a good popcorn flick. If you get stuck on the film’s faults, your experience will produce diminishing positive returns.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
Ben Affleck has a knack for action. I’m not really sure why or how but for some reason, he produces entertainment as a lead action star.
- The Scene Stealing Supporting Cast
Someone knew what they were doing when they cast Lithgow, Simmons and Tambor. This trio has very small roles in the movie but they all work well in their role.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- Flashback Fever
The film works in a lot of flashbacks to Wolff’s upbringing. It almost feels like we’re watching an origin story for a franchise starter (and heck, we might be for all we know) instead of a stand alone action flick.
- ZZZ Accounting?