It doesn’t take a genius to know that The Accountant is not high-art cinema; instead director Gavin O’Connor has made a masterpiece of the modern action genre. Unmissable, enjoyable excellence from start to finish.

Set in the murky midsection of money mathematics and mercenary murder, the visuals of The Accountant make aptly limited use of the colour spectrum. The splashes of colour come instead from the humour injections administered consistently throughout. With an autistic central character, it is a joy that the laughs are always with him, not at him.

Affleck affects autism astonishingly. Actor and audiences alike can savour the savant. His performance is a far cry from most stereotyping portrayals, and vitally his story – however extreme – feels believable, relatable. This creates a character with whom it is easy to find an instant connection and understanding whilst retaining hidden depths for later reveals.

The Accountant is also suitably smart without being taxing. Not necessarily in the onscreen numbers game – who knows if that meant anything – but in terms of story and development. Whether it’s one of the many unexpected, but perfectly logical, twists, or simply the interweaving of past to explain present, this is a film with brains behind the brawn.

With obvious influences from the Bourne series, the action is a blend of guns and fists with creativity and precision. In shooting style and choreography, it’s a slick, speedy treat to watch. And, of course, any film offering Batman versus The Punisher is worth the investment.

With high risk of becoming yet another paint-by-numbers action-thriller, The Accountant has a difficult equation to solve. But this film is a cut above; all the pieces add together and the result is greater than the sum of its individually high-value parts.

RATING: 4/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal

DIRECTOR: Gavin O’Connor

WRITER: Bill Dubuque

SYNOPSIS: As a math savant uncooks the books for a new client, the Treasury Department closes in on his activities and the body count starts to rise.