Having already played Batman, Ben Affleck now sets his sights on another vigilante superhero: The Accountant! Prepare for number- and bone-crunching justice!*
That’s not entirely a joke, either. In this tantalizing, mildly ludicrous action drama from director Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior”) and screenwriter Bill Dubuque (“The Judge”), Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a high-functioning autistic C.P.A. hired by a tech company to balance its books after a low-level analyst (Anna Kendrick) notices discrepancies.
Meanwhile, the Treasury Department (repped by J.K. Simmons) puts a new agent (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) on the trail of an underworld figure known only as The Accountant, who cooks books for criminal enterprises but also, uh, kills criminals. Could The Accountant be our accountant?
More meanwhile, a gunman (Jon Bernthal) is going around making threats to various parties involved in all of these financial dealings. There’s John Lithgow and Jean Smart as the brother-and-sister owners of the tech company, Andy Umberger as their untrustworthy C.F.O., and Jeffrey Tambor as an imprisoned crooked accountant.
Flashbacks to Christian’s early life with a strict military father and a silent brother shed light on his peculiarities — which go far beyond his autism — while other cryptic details (like a British woman’s voice giving Christian instructions over the phone) pique our interest as the story unfolds and all of these elements come together.
Affleck’s portrayal of autism is a surface-level impersonation, to be sure. But the character and his quirks make for compelling entertainment — especially in the film’s second half, when numbers, bullets, and fists fly furiously. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this Jason Bourne-ish movie more than this year’s actual Jason Bourne movie.
*I stole this joke from Bayer. I regret nothing.
B (2 hrs., 8 min.; )