Accountant, the (2016) - Adds Up
| Ben Affleck brings to the screen an autistic action hero. And his autism isn't played for a joke, a defect, or portrayed sensationally. Instead it is discussed and presented fairly and used as a strength. The film goes a long way to showing his character's means of using his autism to his advantage, from highlighting historical autistic figures, to explicitly saying that perhaps the world shouldn't be framed in a way that privileges the neurotypical and instead see the diversity of brain functioning as something to celebrate.
Affleck plays the part well, choosing not to focus on the autistic traits, and instead play the character as any other character, letting the features of his autism be evident but not spotlighted. His restraint helps make the action movie tropes which the film falls into easier to manage. Once again he shows he's a stronger actor than he is given credit for.
Other than the main character's strong presentation, The Accountant is a fairly standard action movie. It doesn't rise above the genre's typical expectations, even occasionally feeling a little forced. The film often feels the need to have a character explain a bunch of backstory which feels like a bit of a cheat, taking you out of the film. The relationship between Affleck's and Kendrick's character is never sufficiently structured to give it a realistic feeling. The movie falls a bit flat when it comes to the basics.
Where it is strong is the action. The film doesn't lay it on thick, but manages to do it well when it does happen. As a run of the mill action film it fits the bill. It is the centre of the film, a hero who wouldn't have been a hero just a decade ago, a hero who would have been played for a joke recently. Instead he is the one who not only saves the day, but has us all rooting for him. That makes it worth watching.