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Accountant, The (Blu-ray Review)

13 Jan, 2017 By: John Latchem

Action Thriller
Box Office $86.24 million
$28.98 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray, $44.95 UHD BD
Rated ‘R’ for strong language and violence throughout
Stars Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow, Jean Smart, Andy Umberger, Alison Wright.

Take Sheldon Cooper out of “The Big Bang Theory” and give him advanced military training and an arsenal of high-powered assault rifles and you basically get The Accountant, an action-thriller that remains highly entertaining despite telegraphing the clockwork precision of its plot twists.

The reason the film works is Ben Affleck’s performance as Christian Wolff, the accountant of the title. As the federal agents (J.K. Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson) investigating him come to discover, Wolff is just his latest alias, one in a series of nods to famous autistic mathematicians throughout history.

Wolff is similarly autistic, turning his innate skills as a mental calculator into becoming a forensic accountant for various criminal elements. When Wolff was a child, his father, a special forces soldier, preferred teaching him how to fight and survive on his own instead of treatments at neurological institutions. A nice detail the film builds into his characterization is how his OCD carries over into his ability to kill — everyone who threatens him gets a bullet to the head.

To avoid attracting too much attention, Wolff takes on legitimate jobs as well, including a robotics lab whose own accountant, Dana (Anna Kendrick), has detected some irregularities in the books.

It turns out their poking around the numbers uncovers some shady dealings the company’s big-wigs would rather not be uncovered, and soon enough a team of hitmen comes knocking, forcing Wolff to protect Dana and track down the conspiracy with ruthless efficiency.

Director Gavin O’Connor is perfectly content structuring the film with a lot of blanks to fill in as to who Wolff is and why he does what he does. Most of this is accomplished through well-timed flashbacks that inform on several of the subplots, eventually confirming a few revelations any attentive viewer was likely anticipating (although, waiting for the answer only deepens the viewer’s interest in the story).

The Accountant isn’t an examination of mental conditions that can impact a child’s development, but it does present autism as an important aspect in defining several of its characters, so in that regard the film is very deft at presenting how people with autism can use it as a tool to lead productive lives. This aspect of the film is the primary focus of one of the Blu-ray’s three short featurettes: the eight-minute “Behavioral Science.”

The other extras are the 11-minute “Inside the Man” featurette that delves into the Wolff character and Affleck’s portrayal, and the seven-minute “The Accountant in Action,” which deals with the making of some of the action sequences.

About the Author: John Latchem

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