If ever there was an argument for not judging a book by its cover, The Accountant would be it.
The Gavin O’Connor-directed blockbuster definitely has the look and feel of a slick action, yet has the heart of a good drama, mostly thanks to its terrific cast. Leading the pack is Ben Affleck as the titular accountant, Chris Wolff, and he does a stellar job at bringing this complex character to life.
As the impossibly intelligent mathematician and ruthless killer, who also happens to have a form of high functioning autism, Affleck plays it straight, often leading to touching and humourous moments with Anna Kendrick’s Dana Cummings. The select scenes between these powerhouse performers rank highly on my list of favourites, and really help to get to the core of Chris and his vulnerabilities. Just when you think you have him figured out, Kendrick’s Cummings peels back a few more layers, revealing a man that really wants to connect with others.
The always brilliant Jon Bernthal also does a stellar job as Braxton (the less you know about him the better), who is every bit as deadly as Affleck’s Chis. Whether these two are taking out their respective enemies or fighting one another, it’s a tense watch. The action sequences, which often employed hand to hand combat, reminded me of the sharp choreography of the Bourne trilogy, and came hard and fast at every turn. For those intrigued by the trailer, the final showdown provides the perfect payoff, delivering impressive stunt coordination and use of weaponry.
Like its titular character, The Accountant is not to be taken at face value. The film is neither straight action nor drama, and the plot moves steadily to eventually make sense out of every mystery (and there were quite a few of those). It’s a worthy watch for thrill seekers, and a pleasant surprise for those expecting nothing more than a few shoot-outs.