Ben Affleck’s latest venture shows promise yet ultimately falls flat
Thanks to the confusing story line and rather unbelievable premise, The Accountant is a good choice of action film for those who do not like the genre. It follows autistic accountant, Christian Wolff — Ben Affleck — who makes a living working for large-scale criminal organisations; he also happens to be well versed in martial arts and cold-blooded killing. These narrative features however leave the film without direction or aim.
Ben Affleck puts forward a strong performance as a man for whom numbers make far more sense than human interaction, yet The Accountant differs no more than any other film about autism. The depiction of an autistic hero is a markedly positive feature but this comes at the cost of making the clichéd assumption that those with autism have a special ‘power’ or skill, which is clearly not the case for those who actually have the condition.
Additionally, there are a number of ‘reveals’ in the film, all of which the plot either hinges upon or are vital in tying up loose ends. Unfortunately, due to their integral nature to the progression of the film, they appear clumsy and forced.
Anna Kendrick is also featured as Wolff’s love interest. However, it seems, as with many other potential story lines, this narrative is not developed sufficiently. Had the makers of the film not been scared of including romance in the movie, it may have added greater meaning , and perhaps lessened the feeling that the feature is lacking in identity and direction. That said, this failure to fully commit to emotional and romantic story lines could be seen as intentional as to reflect Wolff’s difficulty in connecting with others.
However, this is not to say that film is so lacking in feeling that it is unwatchable; it certainly has a heart. Overall, it’s focus on human nature, and pressing questions about the importance of nature versus nurture makes it a reasonably interesting watch.