Title: The Accountant
Rating: 2 Stars
This is probably an unfair grade. It’s very close to three stars. It just had a layer of dumbness and predictability that made me grade it lower.
Ben Affleck does a good job playing a person on the autism spectrum. In my world of IT, I’ve seen various people that occupy various places on the spectrum, and he does a respectable job capturing it.
The relationship between Affleck’s character (Christian) and Kendrick’s character (Dana) was also well done. I do have a minor quibble with the movie trope of the awkward guy that always seems to warm the heart of the pretty woman through some kind of magical awkward charm. This perpetuates a whole generation of awkward boys who think that pretty girls / women should just recognize their awkwardness and just fall into their arms. They then get angry when that doesn’t happen. Well, that really doesn’t happen in the real world. Sorry guys. You actually do have to make an effort to make yourself at least semi presentable, physically, emotionally, and socially, if you really want to attract a woman, and continue to do those things if you want a long term relationship. It’s called growing up.
One mark in its favor is that Christian and Dana never really connect. An awkward attempt is made and the movie is heading in that direction, but then events transpire and it never happens. So, at least we don’t have to enjoy the socially awkward caterpillar transformed into a charismatic butterfly because of the love of a woman.
Now on to the silliness. Christian’s father apparently thought that the best way to deal with someone on the autism spectrum is to teach him exotic ways to fight, so the guy with with mad math skills is also apparently a ninja and a sharpshooter. OK.
Christian has a brother named Brandon that is not on the spectrum. The two brothers go through the same 1970’s Kung Fu fighting ritual. Apparently, Brandon becomes some kind of tough guy hired gun to do dirty work. Of course, it makes perfect sense that the guy that Christian has a beef with just happens to have hired Brandon for protection. Of course, in true American fashion, the two brothers must work out their sibling issues via murder, mayhem, and destruction.
Another plot line relies upon J.K. Simmons playing a treasury agent named King. Some years ago, King crossed paths with Christian as Christian was committing a vengeful mass murder. Because King said that he was a good dad, Christian let him live (?!). Not only that, but apparently because he was a good dad, Christian would occasionally feed him crime tips so that King has by now become a legend in his field. He’s apparently now months away from retirement and wants to capture Christian (?!). Or thank him? Or pass the baton to some random agent he’s brought on board? I have no idea what the point of that sub-plot was other than to add filler to the run-time.
So, yes, maybe this is a movie that aspired to be more. At times, it tries to be suspenseful. At times, it tries to be humorous. At times, it tries to preach on accepting those that aren’t neurotypical. At times, it’s about familial relationships. At times, it’s almost a romantic comedy.
Mostly, it’s a hot mess. I take it back. It’s a legitimate 2 star. There is another odd little plot line involving a Jackson Pollock painting. Maybe that painting is what this movie is equivalent to.