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'The Accountant' balances plot and character
Whats in with Justin
Ben Affleck's character is good with numbers and assassination, but not the rest of life in "The Accountant." - photo by Studio photo

"The Accountant" could best be described as a cross between "Rain Man" and "The Bourne Identity." I’m happy to say that this film is just as smart and entertaining as both of those.

It stars Ben Affleck as Christian Wolff, an accountant/mathematical savant with autistic features. He’s much more interested in numbers and maintaining a consistent daily routine with things than he is with people. He sets up his business in a small town and keeps a low profile.

J.K. Simmons stars as a Treasury agent who is investigating Wolff’s activities and then requests another agent (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to do the same. In exchange, he will exonerate her transgressions of lying about her criminal history.

Wolff is revealed to have made a living not only as a CPA, but also doing work for dangerous organizations. His latest clientele is a robotic corporation and Wolff is investigating their current financial portfolio. John Lithgow is the head of the business.

There’s nice chemistry between Affleck and Anna Kendrick as one of the employees at the firm. He senses an immediate attraction, but due to his disorder, he refrains from becoming emotional. This does supply several unexpected funny moments.

The action scenes in "The Accountant" are exciting, but one thing that proves much more effective are the quieter moments of dialogue. Whether it’s talking about Affleck’s past or him going into detail about different accounts, it all feels real and palpable.

Affleck gives one of the best performances of his career. He seems quiet and focused, but put a gun in his hand, he’s his own version of Jason Bourne. I would love to see a crossover if possible between these two characters.

"The Accountant" proves to have more write-offs than discrepancies in the screenplay, but it can handle a few moments of those as well. Some moments are not exactly deductible from the screenplay, but Affleck and its tremendous supporting cast redeem them with their work as well.

Like anything having to do with taxes, "The Accountant" doesn’t always balance its numbers, but it’s still an enjoyable surprise for 2016.

Grade: A-

Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.

Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.

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