‘Accountant’ box office sales rise with body count

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

A neuroatypical accountant who disposes of those that clash with his moral code is the idea behind “The Accountant.” This stars Ben Affleck (“Gone Girl”) as Christian Wolff, the accountant, and other notable actors Anna Kendrick (“Pitch Perfect”) and J.K. Simmons (“Spider-Man”).

The audience is first introduced to Wolff, diagnosed with autism, via flashbacks of his childhood. The audience learns that his mother wanted him to be in a care home as a child, with other neuroatypical children and the caregivers who can help him adapt. Wolff’s father disagrees, and this division leads to a rather unexpected outcome for Wolff. The relationship between Wolff and his brother is an important touchstone that recurs throughout the movie.

The current day Wolff is an accountant who has normal clients, like a farmer couple, that cover for his less sunny work as an “accountant” for crime lords and mob bosses. He un-cooks the books or finds a leak in the money over years of financial accounting. He is not only mathematically talented, but also has amassed the talents of an effective soldier with impeccable sniper capabilities and impressive hand-to-hand combat skills.

Those who stray from his moral bounds face consequences as he plays judge, jury and executioner. This brings Treasury Agent Ray King (J.K. Simmons) to his trail to unmask Wolff’s identity. As his cover, Wolff works as a certified public accountant (CPA) in a small town. When Wolff discovers his cover is being investigated, he takes a huge cover job with the prosthetic company, Living Robotics, to determine if someone has been embezzling funds after Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick, “Pitch Perfect”) notices an oddity in the numbers.

Watching the movie was only enhanced by knowing scenes were filmed on Tech’s campus where Affleck and Kendrick exchange an awkward, adorable and slightly stilted conversation on the steps of the Student Center by the Campanile. A beautifully nerdy accounting montage occurs when Wolff fills the windows and walls of a conference room in Klaus with numbers as he deciphers the 15 years of financials of Living Robotics in one night. It is quite fitting for such a scene to occur on Tech’s fantastically nerdy campus. The movie was also filmed in the Academy of Medicine, and other spots around campus.

Though Wolff’s character could have easily come off as an off-his-rocker autistic hit man, the creators of the movie deftly intertwined the autistic disorder and the role Wolff plays in the world. It is an exquisite masterpiece that has been achieved when the audience attaches to Wolff and laughs as he shoots the man threatening Dana, much like “Deadpool,”  that created a lovable “villain” through comedic value and character transformation.

That’s not to say there was no comedy in the movie. Wolff’s interactions with Cummings were delightful, especially when Cummings tries to joke with Wolff as he tries to be polite despite not understanding most of her jokes. The small smiles that slightly lift the corner of his lips every now and then when he interacts with Cummings are heart-warming. This movie allowed the
audience to bond and relate to Wolff as a man trying to fit in the world as well as he could while overcoming the obstacles associated with autism.

“The Accountant” was deeply satisfying throughout. At no point did the plot drag out or become overly predictable. The movie itself was an oddity in that it is so different from most in its genre,  and the film was made so much better knowing that Tech was the backdrop. Affleck’s acting was phenomenal, completely redeeming his performance in “Batman v. Superman.”

From the coping mechanism to deal with the sensitivities due to autism, to the friendship and love he holds for Dana, Wolff’s large heart is unlikely at first glance but becomes apparent  when he aids a couple to lower their taxes as a small town CPA, and the deep friendships he has for those he lets in. Ben Affleck hit it out of the park with “The Accountant.” Overall, the movie was outstanding in its portrayal of autism and was a phenomenal tale from start to finish.