Christian Wolf (Ben Affleck) is an accountant, but of a special kind. He works for some dangerous people, laundering their money. People in his field of work have a pretty short lifespan, so it is a mystery how Christian has managed to survive for so long?
His means of survival is put to test when he takes on the first legitimate job in a while – to find the missing 60 million dollars of a large electronic company. Working together with an awkward fellow accountant he uncovers the mistake… only setting himself up for a trap. Now he has to face an enemy more dangerous than any of his former dodgy clients, and the true identity of his adversary may just be his undoing.
Christian Wolf is an interesting character. He is suffering from a form of autism, but is extremely successful at what he does. He’s got a mysterious assistant “an English lady” whose identity is hidden, until the very end, and he collects fine art, which he exhibits in a trailer, full of gun ammunition. He is also martial arts expert. His quirky personality is nailed by Ben Affleck’s performance, it is much more interesting that his Batman impersonation of the past year.
THE ACCOUNTANT is a surprise, having earned 140 million against a 44 million budget. There’ll definitely be a sequel.
THE ACCOUNTANT is less concerned with the action than character building. The story is rather simple, but it is both a strong point and a weak point of the film. Weak, because the twists are clichéd and you will see the ending coming miles away. Good, because the time is spent on character development and we manage to squeeze in multiple side stories, including Christian’s growing up, flashbacks to his childhood (that are never boring), and a side plot about detectives chasing him (for some unusual reasons).
The film’s strongest point is its supporting cast, that includes J.K Simmons (the teacher from Whiplash), John Lithgow (Churchill from THE CROWN) and Jon Bernthal (Walking Dead Season 1+2). All in all, THE ACCOUNTANT looks like a set up movie for a much larger story. It also has a feel of something based on a book, because of its detailed set up. Now that the premise is established the second film with a more original plot could be a real treat. Fingers crossed!