Math man forever

“So … who wants to give me a back rub?”

“So … who wants to give me a back rub?”

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Starring: Ben Affleck, John Lithgow, Anna Kendrick

The Accountant is a ridiculous, implausible thriller, in some ways even more ridiculous than the recent, somewhat weak The Girl on the Train. So why did I end up liking it?

I don’t know. Maybe it was because I was super high on weed and mescaline, and I got that extra check in the mail from an employer goof-up that gave me all that money I needed to buy me a new couch and lots of snacks. No, wait, I don’t do drugs, so the high thing is out, and I only got that check in a dream so my couch still sucks ass.

No, I think I liked The Accountant because it has Ben Affleck in it and the movie sort of plays out like a deranged Batman-with-a-calculator action flick.

Affleck plays Christian Wolff, a high functioning autistic man who has managed to harness his extreme intelligence with numbers and physical tics down into the strangest of professions. By day, he’s your average accountant helping a farm owner find tax loopholes to save a few thousand bucks. At night, he’s some sort of accountant ninja who can take out a room full of mob guys with a dinner knife and some totally Batman forearm blasts to the face.

Christian takes jobs laundering books for dirty folks all over the world and, while he does have a modest, sparsely decorated home, he also has a mobile man cave (or, should I say, Batcave) that keeps all the spoils of his riches—money, gold, Jackson Pollock paintings and, yes, collector’s items like Batman comic books.

During one job trying to find missing money for a prosthetics company led by John Lithgow, he takes a liking to fellow accountant Dana (the invaluable Anna Kendrick), and they conspire to find the missing money, which, of course, wasn’t really supposed to happen.

Somebody within the company did a bad thing that they figured would never get discovered, but Affleck’s dark vigilante accountant weeds them out. So Christian and Dana find themselves in loads of trouble, which will eventually lead to shootouts and more Batman forearms to the face.

Director Gavin O’Connor balances out all of the craziness and outrageous turns of events to deliver a film that, despite a few sleepy parts, is thoroughly entertaining. Affleck is good here, basically playing a dude with repressed rage and childhood trauma issues, minus the cowl. The accountant also shoots people in the head a lot, which Batman wouldn’t do. Although, the new Superman will snap your neck and ask questions later in the new DC Universe—sorry … I’ve gone off subject.

Kendrick offers up a capable “WTF is going on?!” performance, in her fifth movie this year. (She’s busy.) The rest of the supporting cast includes an excellent Jon Bernthal a bad guy much worse than Affleck’s kind-of-bad guy. Bernthal is essentially this movie’s Joker. J.K Simmons and Cynthia Addai-Robinson are good as two Treasury agents who combine to create the movie’s Commissioner Gordon. And Jeffrey Tambor plays a father figure who rooms with Christian and amounts to this film’s Uncle Ben. Oh, wait … that’s the wrong superhero relative.

Maybe I’m the only one who sees this movie as Batman doing taxes. Maybe that makes me some sort of amateurish idiot who likes movies that are actually a little on the bad side just because they play out in a weird way in his overreaching mind. If so, I say “Hooray!” to that. My ability to make a movie something else in my head means I have a better chance of making my movie ticket money well spent instead of blown dollars, like the money I blew on that The Girl on the Train piece of shit.

Maybe The Accountant will have a sequel where Christian goes to battle with an even stronger, out-of-town accountant whose mother has the same name as his mother, and who mopes a lot because his dad, the guy from Field of Dreams, died in a tornado accident. Oh, god, please … no!