Ben Affleck is on the spectrum in the new hitman movie, The Accountant.
Diagnosis of Autism has been on the rise for several years now, making this a topical film and an empowering one. Yes, even with autism, you can grow up to be a mass murderer… and an accountant.
The Accountant is the story of Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), a man who is autistic, but who grew up with a military father who insisted that he be trained to be able to physically take care of himself. So Chris was brutally trained, with his brother, is hand-to-hand, weapons among others. Chris was also a prodigy with numbers, as he became a masterful accountant, helping criminal organizations around the globe launder their money.
But when a company called Chris in to look at their company’s mysterious loss of money, he gets involved with another employee, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), who discovered the book’s problem in the first place.
An unknown party wanted this money issue to remain hidden, and so Chris and Dana become targets of a hired assassin, played by Frank Castle himself- Jon Bernthal.
I found much of The Accountant to be pretty boring. It dragged through much of the movie, which made it feel very long. The story was needlessly complicated. Not only was the whole Chris and Dana tale weird, but they had a Chicago agent, played by J.K. Simmons, who was trying to find the Accountant, and was blackmailing another agent named Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help him. Much of this part of the story could have been removed and you wouldn’t have missed much of anything. In fact, it would have helped the flow of the film.
Ben Affleck and Jon Bernthal are,once again, the strongest part of the film. Affleck does a very good job portraying the intricate idiosyncrasies of the Accountant. Bernthal is just exceptional in everything he does. Together, these two are very entertaining to see.
Other actors in this film are wasted. I have already mentioned Anna Kendrick, whose character is completely out of place in this movie. She was meant to be some kind of inspiration for Chris, but I did not buy that for one second. Also, J.K. Simmons could be completely removed without losing much, and that is a travesty for an Oscar winner. He spends a long time in one scene basically laying everything out for the audience. It was a waste. But the use of three veteran actors, John Lithgow, Jean Smart and Jeffrey Tambor was inexplicably wasteful. These amazing actors were given little to do and we barely got to enjoy their presence.
The ending action scenes were well done, but a bit too late. There was also a lot of humor used in the film, but honestly, despite the one-liners being funny, much of the humor felt out of place. Perhaps it was because many of the humorous one-liners felt as if it was being directed toward Affleck’s character and, by way of that, at his autism.
This was a letdown, as I had been thinking that this would be a really good time. Unfortunately, The Accountant was too long, with too many plot points and not enough action. Affleck and Bernthal were great again, but much of the remaining cast of the movie felt as if they had been wasted.