Film Review by Kam Williams
CPA Morphs into Cutthroat Assassin in Clever Cat-and-Mouse Caper
At first blush, Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) looks like your average CPA. After all, the self-employed nerd plies his trade in a modest office located in a nondescript strip mall in suburban Plainfield, Illinois.
The talented forensic accountant's is apparently very well-suited to the profession, given that he was born with Aspberger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism which enabled him to become something of a math savant. Nevertheless, looks can be very deceiving, since the mild-mannered loner also has a shadowy side he is great at keeping under wraps.
Consequently, no one has any idea that Christian's clients happen to be powerful mobsters in need of laundering huge sums of cash without attracting the attention of the authorities. Over the years, he has become wealthy in his own right by cooking the books for crooks while resisting the temptation to live beyond his apparent means.
Eventually, Christian's business does arouse the suspicion of the U.S. Treasury Department's Crime Enforcement Division led by Director Raymond King (J.K. Simmons). Aware that government agent Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and her minions are on his tail, Christian decides to represent a very respected, hi-tech firm in order to look legit.
However, he and an employee (Dana Cummings) at Living Robotics find their lives threatened when he uncovers corruption in the company to the tune of millions of dollars. But those crooks have no idea that he had been trained to defend himself by an overprotective father (Robert C. Trevelier) obsessed with his autistic son's never being bullied. Though it has been many years since that indoctrination, those skills suddenly kick in, as Christian morphs into a cold, calculated assassin, ala the "Manchurian Candidate."
Thus unfolds The Accountant, a high body-count, cat-and-mouse caper directed by Gavin O'Connor (Tumbleweeds). The film rests upon an engrossing script that's been artfully executed by an ensemble of A-list thespians featuring Academy Award-winners Ben Affleck and J.K. Simmons, as well as Oscar-nominees Anna Kendrick and John Lithgow.
A clever and compelling, multi-layered masterpiece deserving serious consideration come awards season!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures