Despite an all-star cast and action galore, The Accountant unfortunately ends up conforming to the drab and dreary stereotypes that surround the profession.
A daft mash-up of Rain Man and Jason Bourne, Ben Affleck plays mysterious savant accountant Christian Wolff – just one of a number of his aliases – who is being hunted by US Treasury agents because it appears that his bookkeeping skills are highly valued by criminal and terrorist organisations around the world.
Getting wind that the authorities are on his trail, Wolff decides to accept a ‘legitimate’ accounting assignment at a high-tech robotics firm that is about to be floated on the stockmarket. Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), who works in the finance department at the firm, has discovered a discrepancy in the books, and the company wants Wolff to see if there is anything to it. He duly discovers that more than $60 million has indeed been siphoned out of the business, but when his investigation is abruptly terminated and he and Dana targeted by assassins, Wolff’s other skills – oh yeah, he is also a lethal marksman and martial arts fighter – come to the fore.
Affleck is badly miscast as the autistic hero, although neither he nor the rest of talented ensemble – J.K. Simmons, John Lithgow, Jeffrey Tambor, Jon Bernthal – can do much with a woeful and needlessly complicated script, and the plodding direction of Gavin O’Connor.
The finale leaves the door open for a sequel – but a full creative audit is required if this is ever to become an action franchise.
In cinemas: November 3, 2016
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Gavin O’Connor