Ben Affleck plays a hitman with high functioning autism in the new thriller “The Accountant” — which opens this weekend.
Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a number-crunching savant accountant who’s called in to “uncook” the books at a robotics company run by Jon Lithgow. Anna Kendrick play the in-house bookkeeper named Dana Cummings, assigned to work with Wolff to try to solve the mystery of the missing money. And while a bit implausible to have two “A list” actors who look like they do to play these characters as geeky, that’s exactly what they attempt to do. Dana makes fun of people with pocket protectors until she finds out that Christian has one.
But beyond that pocket protector, Wolff has a dark side and there’s a Treasury Department investigator named Ray King played by the always interesting J.K. Simmons who’s trying to figure out why a CPA who has an office in a strip mall next to a Chinese restaurant is also laundering money for international clientele- and might also be a paid assassin.
“The Accountant” is part suspense thriller—and part action movie, but since Affleck’s character has a form of Asperger’s Syndrome there’s a rather unusual and somewhat tricky combination.
Think “Rain Man” meets “Good Will Hunting” meets one of the Jason Bourne movies. Director Gavin O’Connor does a great job with the action—but the film slogs a bit when Affleck isn’t firing off a high powered rifle or putting bullet’s into the heads of a team of bad guys tasked with taking him out. There’s some promising chemistry between Affleck and Kendrick but she ends up underutilized. I also think most audiences will see the big plot twist coming a mile away.