The Accountant: A semi-comprehensive audit

Hey there Cinemaster fans, it’s your old pal Nighthawk aka Adam Peterson. It’s been a little while since I’ve labored over the written word when it comes to movies and I’d kind of like to get back into the habit of it all. I’d like to promise up front that I’ll do my best to be consistent in returning to this venue to reprise my thoughts regularly on the films that I’m watching. But I know better than to over extend myself at this juncture. So for now I’ll see if I can’t remember how to do this with a little bit of grace on your part as I’m just going to do my best to capture my thoughts in relative free form here. Nothing too fancy. Just my noodling on a flick I’ve watched a handful of times and really enjoy.

Now that we have that bit of housekeeping out of the way I’ll jump right into it. I’ve been on a TV kick for a while but lately I’ve really been pressing myself back into movie watching with some modicum of dedication. Just today I’ve consumed a handful of films with 2016’s “The Accountant” starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick and JK Simons being prominently featured in my playlist. It’s a delightful tale of financial acumen mixed with some serious ass kicking ability. Affleck plays the titular character who goes by the alias “Chris Wolff” for the majority of the film. He’s an adult on the autism spectrum who does financial accounting during the day and also kills bad guys during the day and sometimes at night. We get glimpses of his back story throughout the film that fill in the blanks as to why he is who he is which I really appreciate how this is handled. It’s a two fold responsibility in both addressing his cognitive abilities and trials while also approaching how he amassed some of his other learned skills he equips himself while doling out his rendition of justice.

While this is a film from several years ago and anyone who has planned on seeing it has had ample time to watch it thus far, I do feel like I’d prefer to keep the details of the story from being the focal point as there’s plenty to enjoy in this film if it’s your first time viewing it. I know it’s not a big blockbuster action hit but I’ve always had a fondness for this film. Affleck will always be on my approved list and I feel like he actually does a really great job in this film.

One of the things I really appreciate about the world they’ve created in this story is there’s so much room to move around. I know Affleck’s character seems a little standoffish even to the audience at first but I like the choice to do that. We get to know him and appreciate him as the movie progresses. Yes, he’s our protagonist so there’s this pull to want/need to like and identify with him right off the bat but I feel like the fact that his character has such a difficulty connecting with people makes our inability to follow him tacitly from the onset more endearing. It’s not hard to love a John Wick from the start. Jason Bourne is compelling from the beginning of the film. Our hero, the accountant, he takes a little more to get to know and we see that in how he relates to supporting characters in the film. It’s because of his overt dedication to rising above some of his inherent personal shortcomings that we warm to him in the ways that we do. While there are still aspects of the chemistry between Affleck and Kendrick I find a bit lacking, I do still buy it to a degree. She’s quirky in her own ways and it makes her a little more accessible to Affleck. There’s aspects of his hero qualities that are easier to latch on to immediately than his personality traits which I enjoy. It’s like we get to meet Batman and then find out who Bruce Wayne is, and yes that’s not even a veiled Batfleck reference. But it works.

Through the story’s progression I feel like there’s so much space to create one of those universes the studios are always talking about. In a very similar sense to “The Equalizer”, I find there’s a serial appeal of the story line that, to me, makes sequels to this film really easy to put together. The bones are there with the main characters and they can easily be transported to different locations with all manner of conundrums to explore with villains a plenty to triumph over. I know I’m biased because I enjoy this film as much as I do but since this first film came out in 2016 and it is already 2023 I find myself scratching my head that we don’t already have a trilogy under our belt with a spinoff series in production at Netflix or Hulu. I could see a solid 10 episode story arc with that episodic ability permeating all 10 installments. Help a different person out each episode with a central villain or agency behind any number of nefarious affairs that need rectifying both financially as well as with plenty of guns and bombs and punches. It just strikes me that there’s a lot of room to move around in this one. Odd that we are still waiting on the second installment which has been ordered so it is coming.

I think in getting back in the swing of things I don’t want to be too heavy on the ins and outs of the film, like this has been. I’ll probably try to tackle films I’m enjoying watching as I love recommending a movie to someone so they can hopefully have fun with it as well. I know every movie I like isn’t for everyone and that’s fine. But one of the things about the Cinemasters is that we’re just a couple of dudes who love movies. We’re not professional critics. We’ve just watched a crap ton of movies, scientifically speaking, and we love talking about them. My opinion is nothing special, I just love connecting with people in the arena of movies. So I’ll write about bad movies I don’t like as well. I know my opinion won’t always be supreme but you can’t please everyone all the time. I’m always open to suggestions on flicks to watch as well and I like to try and give my honest opinion even if I don’t love a film. I appreciate that everyone has their preferences so I don’t want to step on toes either. I like to try and find some kind of good in as many movies as I can. That being said, in trying to get back into the habit of doing this, hopefully some of what I write will create discussion and maybe map out some new movies for anyone who stumbles upon our little corner of the universe. If I had to give The Accountant a rating, I’d give it a 7.3 out of 10. I know there are better action movies but I love this one and it comes with high praise from me. If you want to check it out, it’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime. And on that note, until next time I’ll catch you on the flip side.

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