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Monday, October 24, 2016

Adventures in Accounting

Oscar winning director and DC Extended Universe’s new Batman Ben Affleck wears a pocket protector and gives one of the world's most unglamorous professions a dangerous (and sexy?) twist in director Gavin O’Connor’s ‘The Accountant.’   Just who is “The Accountant,” you ask?  Not simply a CPA who can help with our taxes as J.K. Simmons’ director of financial crimes pointed out in the movie’s trailer (a scene that was changed in the film unfortunately), the mysterious and elusive Accountant is so much more: a forensic accountant with a penchant for “following the money” and blowing the lids off financial cover-ups who’s also a deadly “don’t mess with me” all-around badass.  Of course, he had no choice if he were to keep "uncooking the books" of dangerous criminals and live.
 
Affleck is Christian Wolff, an autistic math whiz who, along with his more normal little brother Brax, were raised by their father after their mom left them.  A psych-ops officer in the army, the father raised his two boys with “tough love” so that they are prepared to survive no matter what hardship.  When Wolff’s latest audit uncovered hidden accounting discrepancies at a cutting-edge robotics firm owned by Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow) whose stocks are about to go public, he and the unwitting whistleblower played by Anna Kendrick found themselves marked for death.  Those poor professional assassins.  They had no idea who they’re up against.
 
Affleck delivered an understated and nuanced performance as the man with many aliases, imparting ‘The Accountant’ with humanity and depth despite his obvious lack of social skills and stone cold façade.  While the movie's script defied belief and gave us a twist near the end that was a bit predictable, 'The Accountant' is nonetheless an entertaining popcorn action flick and certified crowd-pleaser.

Grade: A-

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