Friday, December 16, 2016

'The Accountant' Deserves a Franchise

The Accountant centers on its titular character, Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck), an autistic, obsessive compulsive super-genius who works as a freelance forensic accountant for the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations under the cover of a modest, small-town CPA office.  He thrives in such a perilous career and environment, for not only is he a mathematical savant, but also because he can personally take care of himself, as he, alongside his brother, grew up being trained extensively by his military-man father to be highly erudite in combat.  New clients are brokered for him by “the Voice”, an anonymous, robotic female voice from a restricted cellphone number.

In his latest assignment, Wolff has to audit state-of-the-art company Living Robotics when suspicious discrepancies in its books are discovered by its in-house accountant, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick).  As he speedily gets closer to the truth, assassins led by an enigmatic hitman (Jon Bernthal) are employed to kill everyone involved in the case, including Christian and Dana.

Meanwhile, the director of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Ray King (J.K. Simmons), and his “protégé”, data analyst Marybeth Medina (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), are closing in on Wolff’s real identity.
I understand why some may have a problem with The Accountant (hence, the mixed reviews it received from critics).  It really has a very dense story, and some may find its various plotlines not meshing well seamlessly.  The storytelling does feel like a mess sometimes.

However, personally, for all its flaws, I think The Accountant is an awesome movie.  It has a fresh premise for an action thriller; the plot is generally enjoyable; and, though the plot twists are predictably oriented, it really worked for me.

Lastly, Christian Wolff has a pretty Batmanly mystique and charisma in his characterization (which only sounds right, since Affleck is the current Batman after all).  He’s easily one of Affleck’s best roles.  He’s probably the most fascinating action hero since John Wick, and the character deserves a franchise of his own.

Besides, with how much “set-uppy” this movie is to a fault, and it getting a solid return on investment from its budget (about $150 million from $44 million), a resulting franchise only makes sense.

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