The Accountant doesnt add up to much

THE ACCOUNTANT (Gavin OConnor). 128 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (October 14). See showtimes. Rating: NNThe Accountant stars Ben Affleck.


THE ACCOUNTANT (Gavin OConnor). 128 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (October 14). See showtimes. Rating: NN

The Accountant stars Ben Affleck as a highly functioning autistic savant whos also an elite criminal accountant, a man of mystery and a nigh-indestructible killing machine which a long string of bad guys find out when they try to whack him after he figures out a problem he wasnt supposed to solve.

Though its pitched like an actioner, with multiple cat-and-mouse chases and high-velocity kills, The Accountant is ultimately another pompous drama about masculinity from the high-handed director Gavin OConnor (Miracle, Pride And Glory, Warrior), with the added flourish of having its central character be a less moral Jason Bourne. (It is not lost on me that Afflecks character is basically that guy crossed with Will Hunting.)

Given the way supporting characters played by Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons and Jon Bernthal drift weightlessly in and out of the action, I suspect Bill Dubuques screenplay was originally focused only on Afflecks never-named lead, and then reworked extensively to attract those co-stars that iteration would surely be better than the sluggish, nonsensical mess we have here, with a master plot that makes little to no sense and extended flashbacks that serve only to clumsily set up an especially dopey twist.

Its a very silly movie that takes itself absolutely seriously, and thats sort of the problem. Sure, Christopher Nolans Batman movies play things straight, but they also let us enjoy the impossibility of the action. The Accountant goes to 11 right away and insists its all normal, even stopping for two or three didactic scenes that try to educate the audience about autism and spectrum disorders despite this movie creating a ridiculous fantasy where mild autism makes one a hyper-competent killer.

Thats the worst thing about The Accountant, really: it thinks its helping, and its so not.

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