The Accountant Adds Up to a Fun Time

The Accountant Adds Up to a Fun Time

Garrett Wheeler, Movie reviewer

The Accountant didn’t pique my interest until the trailer was released. Its premise fascinated me because the protagonist has some quirks that make him look like an intriguing character who would draw viewers into the movie. Plus, the trailer also played “Everything in Its Right Place” by Radiohead, which is a song and band that I love.

However, I got concerned when reviews started to roll in. On the Rotten Tomatoes website, The Accountant is rocking at 50 percent, which isn’t awful, but not great. I went to the theater a little worried, yet still with an open mind. I walked out happy with what I saw for I liked The Accountant, and it definitely doesn’t deserve the negative reviews it’s been getting.

The Accountant focuses on Christian Wolff, played by Ben Affleck, an ordinary accountant with a high intellect for math. There are just two different elements to him. One is that he has high functioning autism and the other is that he is a stone-cold killer. Suspicious of his actions, two FBI agents, played by J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and a hitman, played by Jon Bernthral, attempt to capture Wolff as he protects a young accountant, played by Anna Kendrick, all while killing a lot of people.

Something important to keep in mind with this film is that the trailer isn’t exactly the most truthful. The trailer treats this movie like it’s an action film, when that isn’t the case. Yes, there are action scenes, but they are few and far between. In reality, The Accountant is a character study. We watch this man develop and see how all of his idiosyncrasies affect him in everyday life. The attention to character is the best part of The Accountant. Affleck is absolutely fascinating with all of Wolff’s various quirks and how they shape the character’s personality. Affleck’s marvelous, restrained performance makes this character believable.

All of the performances are top notch and elevate the film. Simmons, an Academy Award winner, once again proves that he’s one of the best working actors today. Bernthal is excellent as a character who you truly can’t trust throughout the runtime. Kendrick holds her own as a young, aspiring accountant and does a great job contrasting Affleck.

The action scenes are exciting and well executed. There’s a lot of grit to every punch thrown and every shot fired. You feel every impact and they stay with you throughout the scenes. There aren’t that many action scenes in the film, but the ones that are there are done well with great cinematography, excellent choreography, and superb sound design.

On the down side, there are a few parts in the movie where the pacing slows down quite a bit. This film is naturally a slow burn, which isn’t bad by any means, but there are a few parts where the film starts to get boring. The movie isn’t the most consistent at gripping you through every scene. Luckily, there are only a few of those moments, but they are still hard to overlook.

This film also resorts to one of the most annoying ways to tell backstory: exposition dumping. For those of you who don’t know, exposition dumping is when a story tells the background of a character or a situation and gives the viewer every detail all at once. This is one of the reasons why the pacing is off at times; there’s so much exposition at certain points in the story that it starts to grate on you. A particular section, about three-fourths into the movie, spends a good 15 minutes explaining the backstory of one situation that has happened early in the movie. It is interesting for a while, but it just keeps going on and on and on. These exposition dumps ruin the flow of the story and kill the pacing, making the film suffer in the process.

Despite all that, I still enjoyed The Accountant. It’s not perfect, but it does all that it can to intrigue the viewer, and it certainly does its job well. The character of Christian Wolff is worth the price of admission alone, for he is one of my favorite film characters of the year. If the premise or the trailers remotely interest you, go ahead and check it out. It’s not for everyone, but, for me, The Accountant adds up to an overall fun time.