Blu-ray Review: The Accountant (2016)

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Ben Affleck plays Christian Wolff in The Accountant, an action thriller that overcame decidedly mixed reviews to gross $149 million worldwide during a fall 2016 theatrical run. Not a runaway hit by any means, but a solid performer. The notable hook in Bill Dubuque's (The Judge) screenplay is that Wolff is autistic. He's highly functioning, to be sure, parlaying his incredible skills with numbers (as well as physical combat and weaponry) into a lucrative business untangling the criminal "creative accounting" practiced by various organizations. By way of cover, he operates a homey little CPA office. Christian hoards priceless collectibles (including original works of fine art) in a super-reinforced RV. 
 
Accountant Ben Affleck.jpg Affleck seems to polarize audiences like no other major star in Hollywood, but he delivers an effectively controlled, tightly-wound performance as Wolff. We see Christian in flashbacks, as his parents struggle to understand their son's special needs (young Christian is played by Seth Lee). Christian and his brother Brax (Jake Presley) are indoctrinated in martial arts training by their father. That way Christian can defend himself against the inevitable bullies, and Brax can always have his brother's back. As Christian grows into adulthood, he's figured out how to kinda/sorta fit in with the "typical" behavior expected by society—small talk, etc—without being able to relate to it.

Make no mistake, as generally respectful of Christian's condition as The Accountant is, this is all pretty preposterous stuff. Credibility is especially stretched as we go deeper into Christian's latest assignment, a high-tech production company called Living Robotics. Before long he's on the trail of a hitman (Jon Bernthal) who's making his job increasingly more difficult. As the pulpy plot thickens, the story gets a little difficult to follow as flashbacks to Christian's jailhouse mentor Francis (Jeffrey Tambor) muddle things. If anything, the 128-minute film is overstuffed.
Accountant Anna Kendrick.jpg Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the film's least-developed: a quasi-friendship/relationship between Christian and Living Robotics accountant Dana (Anna Kendrick). Their awkward, mumbling scenes together are expertly written—Affleck and Kendrick know exactly how to make the most of their too-limited onscreen time together. Amidst the usual shootouts and chases, these character moments are the ones likely to linger in the mind. 
 
rsz_1accountant_bd.jpg The Accountant is now available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Blu-ray (reviewed here; also available on 4K UltraHD, standard DVD, and Digital HD). Tech specs are rock solid, including the transfer of Seamus McGarvey's 35mm cinematography and a DTS-HD MA 7.1 surround mix that features Mark Isham's chilly, tense score. The Blu-ray includes three featurettes: "Inside the Man," "Behavioral Science," and "The Accountant in Action."

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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