The Accountant is an action thriller starring Ben Affleck as an accountant with high-functioning autism, who uncooks the books for criminal organisations. He winds up getting involved in a conspiracy and with hitmen after both him and Dana (Anna Kendrick).
In the end the thriller elements just aren’t that thrilling. Everything felt pretty by the numbers and predictable. I don’t think that there was anything particularly shocking in the film, and I foresaw almost everything that is revealed towards the end of the film pretty early on. Instead The Accountant seems more interested in attempting to set up a franchise than trying to create a truly compelling film. The entire FBI storyline just feels like set up for later films that are far from a given. And it is a premise that has franchise potential, but the best to achieve this is surly to make the best film possible that leaves people wanting more, rather than relying on a lot of setup.
Now the film isn’t boring or uninteresting, in fact it’s a pretty fun couple of hours, but it feels like it could have been so much more than that. The action scenes are also fairly disappointing. Ben Affleck clearly has the ability to be an action star, just look at the Batman scenes in Batman v Superman, but there aren’t really any stakes at all here. Affleck’s accountant feels almost superhuman in his physical abilities, more like a superhero that can’t be hurt by the antagonists. It just means that there is nothing to really grip you in the action, as you know the Affleck’s character will easily deal with his enemies.
But that said Affleck’s performance is great. Playing a character with autism when you don’t suffer from it isn’t easy but he does a good job. And it is a positive that autistic youngsters have a chance to see what is essentially a superhero who represents them. The film has a strong supporting cast including Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, John Lithgow, Jeffery Tambor, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson. It’s a great cast around Affleck, and there isn’t a bad performance there.
The Accountant isn’t a bad film, it’s just a fairly paint by numbers action thriller that places far too much emphasis on trying to create a franchise, rather than making a great film now.