Tuesday, 8 November 2016


As with the slyest, most satisfying of puzzles, The Accountant is a film best experienced forwards, best remembered backwards. It's a case of gradually reassembling a picture whose creators are in evident, essential control right from the start. And, just as you think you've got a hold of what that picture represents, a missing piece is revealed, and the picture becomes not only clearer but so much cooler. In what you initially expect of The Accountant, it holds a few worthwhile virtues - it's a solidly constructed corporate mystery / thriller, it stars J. K. Simmons, it also stars the irreplaceable Jean Smart. And if that appears enough to hold your attention, it's only ever doing so stemming from the precursory assumption that said attention might otherwise have been lost. Not so, as The Accountant weathers the normally-troublesome segue into a thriller's third act, only here revealing its wily hoodwinking and developing some much-appreciated depth, concurrently disclosing its true identity. And yet still this film has cards up its sleeve - not to give too much away, but the manner in which deception, diversion and even the suggestion of disappointment distract from its central topical tenet is extremely nifty, and thematically appropriate in a way that few such films have ever aspired. Just as its characters underestimate those they regard as of limited ability, so too does The Accountant open itself to those same underestimations. As a person on the autistic spectrum myself, it's a surprising, savoury payoff to two hours of increasingly interesting genre fun.