The Accountant review – Ben Affleck's new superhero just about adds up

The Accountant Still

Screenwriter Bill Dubuque has created the forthcoming Netflix TV drama Ozark with Jason Bateman, and he co-wrote the soupy drama The Judge, with Robert Duvall as the town judge being defended on a murder charge by his estranged son, played by Robert Downey Jr.

Here is his The Accountant, directed by Gavin O’Connor and starring Ben Affleck: a fantastically convoluted, over-extended but watchable action thriller whose many dangling loose ends, subplots and side characters are finally tied up with a showy flourish. In its earnest flashbacks to childhood trauma it is weirdly like a superhero origin myth – and maybe Ben Affleck might be better off doing a couple more Accountant movies than anything else from the Batman franchise.

He is Christian Wolff, a savant-level genius accountant and high-functioning autistic who launders money for mobsters; he also happens to be hilariously great at martial arts, with a special-forces level of weapons use and combat training because his army dad trained him as a kid – to stop him being teased! Feeling the need for a low profile, Wolff takes a “straight” job for a respectable company, run by John Lithgow, and finds some irregularities, which puts both him and Lithgow’s smart employee Anna Kendrick in danger. It’s laid out for us with the guileless, unselfconscious absurdity of a comic book adventure, though it wastes the potential of Anna Kendrick. Perhaps Affleck can have a mask and costume for the sequel.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Peter Bradshaw, for The Guardian on Thursday 3rd November 2016 22.45 Europe/London

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