If there were ever a list of the most exciting jobs, accounting would never top it. It wouldn’t even make top 100. But Christian Wolff (played by Ben Affleck) is not your typical accountant: he is The Accountant, an autistic savant with a difficult childhood and an innate, supernatural ability with numbers, which later in life leads him to become a lone, implacable vigilante on the payroll of international mobsters. When he’s not busy dealing with tax returns of clueless old couples, he shoots with anti-tank guns, stares in delight at the original Pollock he’s hiding in his secret caravan and kills heaps of people.
If this sounds like a bit too much, it probably is, and Affleck has never looked so tired of acting. The movie has its funny moments (some voluntary, some less so), but fails to find a strong, coherent narrative throughout. Is it a thriller? An action flick? A grotesque comedy? The viewer is left hanging until the very end, only to be led to an implausible ending.
However, there’s a chance we got drawn out by all the subplots and looked in the wrong direction the whole time. If so, The Accountant is a movie about Asperger’s Syndrome being more or less a superpower, which is a noble point to make.
In a recent interview, Affleck said he had spent hours in institutions focused on autism, immersing himself in that world. He explained that the movie is about embracing the diversity that we have in our society, and hopefully celebrate it.
I’m certainly with him on this one.
– Rossella Quaranta