Film Review: The Accountant (15)

Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick star in The Accountant

Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick star in The Accountant

Starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow

Those crazy fools in Hollywood. They’ve made what many would have deemed impossible, an all-action movie about an accountant, which is surely an achievement akin to The Hulk keeping trouser-seam integrity when in a temper.

But not just that – and this should cause the balls to well and truly come off your abacus – the accountant in question has autism and is also a hit man. Fortunately, the hypnotists at Central Casting have cranked up the project’s clout by persuading Ben Affleck to take on this balancing act.

Of course, Dustin Hoffman blazed the autistc hero trail in 1988 with multi-Oscar-winning Rain Man, but The Accountant incorporates the disorder into its plot in a different way – this is more a sort of Rain of Bullets Tax Returns Man.

Severely autistic as a child, Christian Wolff (Affleck) learns self control through often brutal training in the martial arts, etc., at the behest of his army officer dad. He also finds sanctuary in numbers and grows up to be a maths genius – but with a twist

Operating out of a small office in a hick town where he sorts out the finances for struggling farmers, the inscrutable loner is secretly a forensic accountant, called in by big crime organisations to help them track down those who are cooking their books.

But when he learns Treasury officers are on his tail he takes a legit job probing a major cash shortfall at hi-tech firm Living Robotics, stumbled on by clerkess Dana (Anna Kendrick).

But all is not what it seems at the company and when Christian edges towards unravelling the mystery, people begin to turn up dead and both he and Dana become targets for a squad of assassins.

However, our bean-counter-cum-bone-mangler, being as adept with machine gun as adding machine, is more than a match for them.

Despite the blandness of the main character – Christian has fewer facial expressions than Bruce Wayne in his Bat mask – The Accountant has plenty of plus points and fairly belts along once the maths gets subtracted from the storyline and the action scenes start to multiply.