“The Accountant,” a far-reaching thriller starring Ben Affleck, asks much of its audience – but for some patience and suspension of disbelief there are rewards to be had as it morphs slowly and surprisingly into something more entertaining than it has any right to be. You could think of it as Affleck’s midlife answer (bat suit aside) to buddy Matt Damon’s “Jason Bourne” series, though Affleck alter-ego Christian Wolff isn’t a juiced-up CIA operative with a bad case of amnesia and a troubled past (though he does have that). As the title tells us, he’s a pencil-pusher, though one who incidentally can spatter a melon from atop a fencepost a mile out with a high-powered rifle; and should some of his clients take exception to his accrual methods, he can unleash a tirade of chop-socky martial arts to dispatch the deplorables with James Bond efficiency.
Few probably knew that balancing the books could be such a lethal endeavor, or that such a cockamamie idea, especially with the normally tacit and wooden Affleck, could translate into such a satiating pleasure – a guilty one. With ledger-entry care we get into it one plodding record at a time, beginning with blurry images of a hitman taking out linguini-eating mobsters in a scene that’s reminiscent of the young Michael Corleone removing the family nuisance in “The Godfather.” Then, before we get the assassin’s mug, we flash to a quaint country manse in the hills of New Hampshire where the young Christian (Seth Lee), having a bit of an OCD fit, is being interviewed by a doctor who specializes in children with Asperger’s and autism. It’s here, in the unhappy family moment, that we also learn that the lad can solve a complicated puzzle in 20 licks. Continue reading