Review of Ben Affleck’s new action drama “The Accountant”
By Carter Bagley
Ben Affleck is an actor that has had a very up and down career. He began excellently starring as the great character of O’Bannion in Richard Linklater’s classic “Dazed and Confused” and starred in many Kevin Smith movies like “Mallrats” and “Chasing Amy” before breaking out with co-writing and co-starring in “Good Will Hunting” which jumpstarted his career along with his best friend Matt Damon. After that he had a lackluster career though starring in many awful rom-coms and big budget cheese-fests disasters like “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon”. Since then he’s come along way though and has become a successful actor, director, and screenwriter making such films like “The Town” and the 2013 Best Picture Winner “Argo”. This time he’s starring as “Christian Wolff” which is one of the many alias he goes by to protect himself who works as a freelance accountant for many huge crime organizations. It’s a very fascinating premise already but it’s made even more fascinating when you make the lead character an autistic man who has an incredible memory and high-functioning numerical skills. His father was a decorated military veteran who thought that his son should learn to live with his autism in the real world than make the world change for him. He trained his two sons in multiple different fighting styles and this made Christian an extremely sought after man as he was the best at multiple skills. When he takes on a legitimate accounting job for a company called Living Robotics to analyze the company’s money handling after a girl named Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) finds a flaw in it, he finds himself and Dana in a load of trouble. Ben Affleck’s performance is one of the best I’ve ever seen from him and he’s actually amazing at portraying Hollywood’s first autistic action hero. He has the subtle and not so subtle ticks down to a science and keeps his performance in check without going over the top like many actors do. J.K. Simmons plays Ray King who’s a financial crime director and gives a great performance like he always does and so does his employee Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) who helps him try to find “The Accountant”. Anna Kendrick and Affleck’s chemistry is very good without being unrealistic and cheesy and she feels like a real person we all know. Another standout actor is Jon Bernthal who plays an assassin hired to kill Wolff and Cummings by Living Robotics after they find a legitimately large flaw in the company’s money handling. John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor also show up in relatively big roles with small screen time but it’s still nice seeing both of them on screen. This film is getting very mixed reviews which I honestly don’t understand at all as I thought this film was one of the most entertaining, emotional, and effective action-dramas I’ve seen in a long time. Gavin O’Connor has made another great film and I look forward to what he does next since I also loved his 2011 film “Warrior”. I think this could very well be the start of Hollywood’s next original franchise which is refreshing to see such an effective original movie being made these days. “The Accountant” adds up to be an original and well directed drama complete with amazing action sequences and emotional ties that make it a film that impacts you in every way and one I will remember a couple years from now.