“Do you like puzzles?” This is the central question throughout this movie based on the complex story and while watching this 2-hour film you realize within the first 30 minutes that you are going to have to wait until the end of the movie before all the pieces of this story are fully resolved.
The movie “The Accountant” has a rather complex screenplay written by Bill Dubuque who also wrote the screenplay for the recent movie “The Judge”. The story of this film is told in unusual ways, mostly through flashbacks that span over a 30-year timeline that explain the life story of Christian Wolf (The Accountant), played by Ben Affleck who has Autism with a very high IQ. Because of the physical training his father put him and his brother through, due to his fears that his Autistic son would be abused in life, the Accountant develops outstanding karate skills as well as great ability with all kinds of firearms. He is also extremely gifted with numbers which leads to not only his profession as an accountant, but also to his eventual business of laundering money for criminal organizations. How he gets into this part of his professional life is not fully explained as are some other aspects of this story and most of the loose ends are tied up at the end of the movie – but not all of them, which creates a sense that you are missing something when the movie ends. I found this part of the storytelling a little bit frustrating because I still had some questions at the end.
In order to fully appreciate this movie, you have to buy into the fact that an extremely Autistic man is able to not only overcome this handicap; but also has incredible martial arts and skills with firearms as he kills about 15 people in this movie. Some of this is difficult to buy into but at least this movie is unique in that no action star in movie history has ever been Autistic. This is really the first physical action movie that Ben Affleck has ever starred in during this 20-year career in movies, unlike his best friend Matt Damon who has made several action movies, including the Bourne franchise and I thought he did a very convincing job with this role. In some ways, this film reminded me of Good Will Hunting which was the breakthrough film for both Affleck and Damon in 1997. The main similarity I noticed were when some of the scenes of extreme intelligence of Christian Wolf are demonstrated. In this movie, there are a series of scenes where Christian Wolf performs a massive forensic accounting investigation over a 15 year period for a Robotics company, whose CEO is played by John Lithgow. The fact that he does this in one day and is able to find several small complex random errors is extremely impressive and is just one demonstration of his very high IQ. This is the part of the film where Wolf befriends an employee of the Robotics company named Dana Cummings, played very well by Anna Kendrick and this collaboration leads to some violent conflict which is resolved at the end of the movie. The very end of this movie includes a scene which ties up the biggest question of the entire film, which is who is the computer voice that directs The Accountant through his accounting and violent confrontations? The answer to this was rather hard to believe although I did not consider it to be a deal-breaker type of flaw in the story. The Accountant is a very solid dramatic movie and I do recommend it.