Ben Affleck takes this complex accountant he’s given a long, long way.
It’s not a simple nor easy journey.
We learn from a series of flashbacks in the script by Bill Dubuque and direction of Gavin O’Connor that as a kid, this number-crunching guy by the name of Christian Wolff had it tough. As he grew up on the Autism spectrum, his father taught him many things about being different, being tough, being special as his older brother became part of the training and his mother wigs out and then simply goes.
All of it shapes Wolff into a man who can do much, mathematically, physically and mentally. Emotionally and socially, not so much.
That’s where another accountant enters his life. Played with just the right amount of empathy and curiosity by Anna Kendrick, she learns things, becomes very involved in layers beyond her control, and lights up his both his superhero and mere mortal man sides.
It’s an intriguing 2 hours, 8 minutes of action-drama and mystery, indeed, as plot points stack up and then explosively, thrillingly, collide. The Accountant is the main numbers man for a series of very major criminals. He catches the eye of federal agents. The head guy, played well by always sturdy J.K. Simmons, has something over the junior, given life by Cynthia Addai-Robinson. One of the companies our accountant is called in to check out, directed by a brother-sister team played by a snarky John Lithgow and steely Jean Smart, is doing really bad things, and Kendrick’s character is the one who reported the bad math to Smart’s. Oh, yeah, the accountant spent time in a federal prison as a cellmate to a talkative Mob boss played by a sad-faced Jeffrey Tambor.
Through it all, Affleck is able to play his man as different, yes, indeed. He delivers his lines on the vocal level, such as someone on the spectrum may. And obviously smart, very able, and worthy of … There were ooh’s and ah’s from the couple-dozen folks for a 4:20 p.m. Friday matinée in the Regal Cinemas chain’s big theater in the Syracuse suburban Great Northern mall.
The accountant’s almost-superhero powers with guns and martial arts developed over those years of training will most certainly raise eyebrows. But I’ll leave it to you to determine which side of the moral fence you land on when the twisting road straightens at last.
Which is your favorite Ben Affleck movie, and why? Which is your favorite Anna Kendrick movie, and why?