Monday, October 31, 2016

Movie Review: The Accountant

If we've been aquatinted with each other up to a certain point, you would probably know that I have this hate-hate relationship with Math. To prove a point, when I was in High School I was in a "numerically challenged" group, what a way to scar a teenager for life eh? 

My brain sort of shuts down when I hear or see numbers, unless of course it has anything to do with my financial status. 

Despite my lack of affinity for Math I still enjoyed Batfleck...errr...Ben Affleck's "The Accountant". 

Imagine Affleck bringing his skills as the caped crusader and becoming an accountant and mind you, this is not your run-of-the-mill  Certified Public Accountant but something different entirely. 

You see, as a child Ben Affleck's Christian Wolff (not his real name-of course) was diagnosed as having autism. He is wickedly good with puzzles and numbers, we're talking mad skills, god-like, a real honest to goodness mathematician. 

"He has more in common with Einsten and Mozart, than he does with us." Says an expert at the film's trailer. 

Indeed, while Christian Wolff is a math savant (a skill that if I had would probably have saved me from childhood trauma and teenage stress) -although he lacks the social skills for him to blend in to be considered "normal" (didn't we all at some point growing up?). This didn't sit well with his hard edged, cold hearted father, who is also conveniently in the army. He believes that Christan should not be cuddled and shielded because of his autism but rather should be exposed to what makes him uncomfortable (bright lights and loud music) -this plus intense training in martial arts should help Christian lead a "normal" life or at least get by as a high functioning individual with autism. 

The film does not follow a linear format as it uses flashbacks to unveil Christian's brutal training-err-upbringing (which his father ensured) then goes to the present storyline which shows the audience what a day in the life of " The Accountant" looks like. We see Christian helping a financially-troubled couple write off taxes and skillfully avoiding yet another blind date. 

The audience also sees Christian's other life, they know that he is no ordinary accountant, since he has an RV inside a storage unit stocked full with all sorts of guns and weapons, cold cash in different currencies, passports, rare and expensive art, gold bars and most importantly some really valuable comic books. 

He talks to an unknown woman who advises him to take a legitimate client to leave a clean trail. Wolff is then soon working as a consultant for "Living Robotics" where a bright young accounting clerk, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick) -probably the only cheery and relatively "normal" character in the film reports some discrepancies in the books. 

While Christian plays a normal consultant by day, the audience is given a glimpse of what he really does and that is play accountant for different criminal organizations, from drug lords to mobsters. 

"Who survives this kind of clientele?" Asks Ray King (J.K. Simmons) the director of the Treasury Department Crime Enforcement Division, who blackmails...err..instructs a young treasury agent Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to find out the identity of "the Accountant". 

Turns out there is more going on in "Living Robotics" despite the seemingly good natured owner, Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow). Christian obsessively tries to uncover the secrets in "Living Robitics" all the while, King and Medina are getting dangerously close to finding out his true identity, oh and there's also an unknown assassin, Jon Bernthal who is trying to blow Christian's math-inclined head off. So yeah, there is definitely a lot going on. 

A big puzzle to solve with surprises and twists at every corner, "The Accountant" will keep you guessing until the very end. 

Ben Affleck is spot on in his portrayal of Christian Wolff, he is brilliant and obsessive as a mathematician yet awkward around other people, which shows Christian in a vulnerable light, making audiences warm up to him. 

7 out of 10. At times, the film may feel as if it is made up of many different genres, this is something that may or may not sit well with an audience member and some revelations may or may not be satisfying, it really depends on who's watching, the audience that I was a part of were engaged and engrossed. I was engaged and engrossed and I enjoyed it. 

It's interesting how movies can help you enjoy the things you otherwise would not (like, Math in my case) and with impressive performances from a stellar cast, a fast paced plot, an interesting puzzle to solve and action sequences straight out of Batman's own choreography (Indonessian martial arts-"pentjak sikat" -very refreshing and deadly efficient) what more can I ask for? 

"The Accountant" is in cinemas November 20.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros. 

No comments:

Post a Comment