Over the years, Ben Affleck has established himself as a very good director/writer and a credible actor. Many times he has attempted to become and conquer the action star/superhero genre with roles in movies such as Jack Ryan in “Sum of all Fears”, George Reeves/Superman in “Hollywoodland”, Matt Murdock in “Daredevil” and most recently Batman in “Batman V Superman.” So to no one’s surprise, Ben Affleck jumps back to the action genre with his latest movie The Accountant.
“The Accountant” is a very good action movie filled with many twists and turns, a slow burn with exceptional character development that brings a warmness to the story – which pays off by the end of the movie This film has the heart of “Good Will Hunting” and the vivacity of the Bourne franchise… a meeting place where mathematics can coexist with action. And as you watch the film, if it feels eerily familiar … it should because “The Accountant” could very easily double as a prequel to Ben Affleck’s upcoming “Batman” movie.
We have Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, oops i mean Christian Wolff, as a child with autism, who develops the gift of mathematics as his coping mechanism for struggling with social interaction. His unusual ability becomes his superpower which he uses to become an accountant to some of the most nefarious companies, factions and people. Fear is not an option for Affleck’s character because his father in the movie, who in an effort to protect him, raises him with training in martial arts, fighting and marksmanship. Affleck is adroitly awkward yet fanatically destructive, drawing you unto his complex character and the movie.
J.K. Simmons (Ray King) reminds me of Detective Gordon from Batman who seems to be obsessed with finding out who is this accountant and why does he work with bad people. Using a small independent accounting firm as a front, what does this accountant know… what makes him tick. He enlists the help of a female FBI agent, Marybeth Medina, played by Cynthia Adlai-Robinson, who has a shaky past but a persistent demeanor focusing upon discovering the truth.
The superhero companions doesn’t stop there as Jon Bernthal plays Brax, a hired hit man who conjures up comparisons to his most famous role to date as the Punisher in the Marvel Netflix series. Rounding up this good cast are John Lithgow playing well the role of the company mogul/genius and the surprising effective and refreshingly innocent female lead Dana Cummings played by Anna Kendrick.
What the director, Gavin O’Connor does so well is able to develop a story that is highly focused upon action (“Miracle” and “Warrior’) and show us the heart and the humanity of the characters and story. O’Conner gives us a nice little twist in the end… dealing with the question of doing the wrong things for the right reasons, even for the greater good. Perhaps the only negative of the movie is that they introduce Affleck’s disabilities as a reason for who he has become but when he is in combat, his idiosyncrasies are noticeably absent.
“The Accountant” delivers as a well-developed action movie that starts slow and finishes fast. At times has all the makings of a superhero movie just without the cape, and if we added in Bruce Wayne/Batman’s butler Alfred this movie would “add up” to be a Batman prequel.
Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Batman v Superman, Batman: The Killing Joke, and Captain America: Civil War right here on MMT.