Ben Affleck had a quiet 2015 by his standards. But in 2016, his depiction as the fifth modern interpretation of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad drew plenty of attention. And yet, the film no one had on their radar, The Accountant, may have been his best film in years.
As a “math savant” (autistic accountant may work better), Christian Wolff (Affleck) does statistical analysis for dangerous people, reaping a fortune but living a quiet life. Thanks to his military father’s training, he’s well-versed in gun use and hand-to-hand combat, which all come in handy when he takes a liking to a fellow accountant (Anna Kendrick) and incurs the wrath of a dangerous organization who wants his math to go away. Suddenly, the two are on the run from the bad guys and the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division (are they bad, too?)
On Warner Bros.’ special features on the Blu-ray, the audience can follow up this film’s exploration of family and autism by checking out the way that Wolff’s brain is wired in both “Inside the Man” and “Behavioral Science.” This is just a continuation of my appreciation for the film’s take on autism – where Wolff’s OCD and autism are not weaknesses but strengths he has mastered. (Of course, there’s also a take on the stunt work and fighting in “The Accountant in Action,” but that’s more standard than the actual focus on autism.
While the film focuses mainly on Wolff, there’s a terrific role here for Jon Bernthal that I won’t reveal much about. It’s solid action/thriller territory here, mixed in with the tender way that director Gavin O’Connor unpacks autism. It’s certainly not the way that some might understand it (and I have no one of knowing if it’s all ‘possible’) but it will certainly cause you to consider how you see people – and what you believe they can do.
Elsewhere, O’Connor’s direction of Bill Dubuque’s (The Judge) script also delves into the ways that O’Connor explored family in Warrior with Joel Egerton and Tom Hardy. There’s some of that “fight it out” mentality here – and an understanding that we don’t always have to like each other to love each other. Powerfully wrought, wonderfully acted, and dizzyingly exciting, The Accountant deserves to be on your watch list if you missed it. It’s certainly my action film of 2016!