Whatever you might think about director Gordon O’Connor’s film The Accountant, there’s no denying that the film breaks new ground. With that statement I mean that I can’t recall ever having seen a film in which an autistic savant is also portrayed as a superhero of sorts. Ben Affleck is the title character who suffers from what he describes as ‘high functioning autism’ and perhaps there is some truth that his character could function as well as he does in the real world. Still, I found it a little bit hard to swallow that this man, suffering from autism, could go from basically being non-functioning and anti social as a child in the film’s early flashback scenes to being able to wipe out entire groups of villainous characters using a combination of fists and guns in the film’s later scenes. Perhaps the film is just trying to send a positive message to those suffering from autism that you can have the disorder and still be a successful accountant, marksman and pro level fighter, I’m not sure.

Ben Affleck is Christian Wolff, the accountant and as such he brings his usual capable acting chops to bear in the part. There are moments, most of them when he’s taking a respite from beating the stuffing out of the bad guys in the film, that I could actually buy into his character. I guess that’s a testament to his abilities that he sells the part so well and, in terms of his acting abilities, Affleck seems to get better and better as the years go on. Or at least when he’s given the chance to.

As is the case with a lot of people afflicted with autism, Wolff is good with numbers and it seems fitting and logical that he would run an accounting business. His cover is a seemingly normal looking facade of an office located in a small town strip mall. What most folks don’t suspect is that Wolff is also doing double duty as a freelance accountant for some very shady criminal organizations. He funnels the laundered cash that he receives into the other businesses in the same strip mall that his business is located, figuring no one will be the wiser. It’s when Wolff decides to go legit and do business with a seemingly serious client (John Lithgow), a technology entrepreneur, that things take a turn into some dangerous territory. There’s also a subplot involving an employee (Anna Kendrick) at the legit client’s firm who discovers shady dealings, leaving Wolff to come to the rescue once her life is in jeopardy.

The Accountant provides the requisite thrills that one would expect from a film like this and I’m sure it will be an audience pleaser. At least the preview audience in attendance the night of my screening certainly ate it up. My advice would be just don’t expect any semblance to reality whereas the plight of those suffering from autism is concerned.

This is playing at the Carmike in Hickory and area theaters.
Photo: Ben Affleck in The Accountant

Questions or comments? Write Adam at [email protected].