Ben Affleck takes on the role of an Accountant with Asperger syndrome, who also happens to have a very specialized set of combative skills. With his calculative-mind and deadly abilities; this is one accountant you don’t want to go toe-to-toe with.
Ben Affleck has been in countless films of all genres. He’s done heist films, dramas, comedies, thrillers, and he’s the new Batman even! Affleck has also tried his hand in Writing and Directing. While he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, Ben has proven to be a Hollywood pedigree that’s here to stay. He’s an A-list actor, accomplished writer, and distinguished Director. That’s a solid resume even if you don’t care for him. I’ve seen most of his films, and continue to appreciate what he’s accomplished. It would seem he’s capable of doing just about anything, and does it well in my humble opinion.
In The Accountant, Affleck plays a man with Asperger’s who has struggled through life, and yet found a way to prosper. As a child, Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) was plagued with physical outbursts when something as simple as a puzzle piece was out of place. In order to function in this over-stimulated world, his father took him to various specialists. First was a doctor who suggested he needs a non-stimulated environment to be able to live a normal life. Being the Army man his father was, this was not an option. Instead, his father forced him to embrace these challenges, and even had his son train with combat specialists at a very young age. His father knew he would have to find a way to defend himself in this unforgiving world. Some would see this as abuse, but his father knew better. He even had Christian’s little brother train alongside who did not have Asperger’s so they’d both have equal protection from bullies. This proved to be a pivotal point in both their lives.
Christian’s mind is like a computer, and he has the ability to do complex calculations. He’s a bit introverted, but found a niche as an accountant. As a grown man he decided to start his own small accounting firm. Mixing this with his combat training, however, he’s also the type of accountant that could benefit from a unique clientele. Depending on your perspective, his majority client-base consists of bad guys and dangerous men. Christian receives calls from an unknown source that offers him new clients on a regular basis. It’s a lot like the storyline of the Hitman games/films, but instead of assassinating people, he’s killing (figuratively speaking) the financial books of dangerous men. In short, he finds out whose laundering drug money, breaking down corrupted corporations, and the like. If need be, he makes sure he always has an out of any situation. As risky as this life may be, it doesn’t seem to bother Christian one bit. It does, however, attract the attention of a certain government entity known as the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division. The only problem is, they can’t seem to figure out who this mysterious accountant is.
This film jumps between the past and present of Christian’s life, as well as, the Treasury Department’s attempt to locate him. It’s like three stories in one! In one it depicts the man Christian has become, and flashes back to show how he became this way. In the other, we see the methods in which the Treasury tries to identify him. Ultimately these stories collide in an epic fashion. It’s not due to a mistake Christian makes or the savviness of the Treasury though. It’s a blend of all the factors involved and experienced within the story. This makes for a very exciting and action-packed film. When the story is in the present timeline; viewers witness how Christian goes about his everyday life. After years of dealing with hostile clients, he’s now looking for something more honest and non-life threatening. The mysterious computer voice that contacts him finds a modern-prosthetics company that seems to have some serious errors in their books. There’s a lot of money missing, and he’s tasked with figuring out where it went. This seems honest enough, so Christian is excited to get to work. Little does he know he’s about to uncover yet another evil scheme within the corporate world. This time, however, he may not realize how much danger he’s in.
Will Christian find a way out of this mess before the hired killers track him down? Can he also evade the authorities from the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division that’s also hot on his trail? With multiple groups trying to track Christian down, viewers may wonder if he’ll have what it takes to survive this mess.
Enough about that…Let’s take a look at what all is included with this release!
The menu design consists of a static image of Ben Affleck getting ready to aim a sniper rifle. The menu options are listed along the bottom of the screen, and include: Play, Scene Selections, Audio, Subtitles, and Special Features. The ‘Scene Selections’ option displays five chapters at a time. Each one is numbered and includes a snapshot from the scene. The ‘Audio’ option lets viewers choose between: English 7.1, English 5.1, English Descriptive Audio, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. The ‘Subtitles’ options consist of the same language options.
Now let’s take a look at the Special Features included with this Blu-ray release.
– Inside the Man (10:38 HD): Many film characters are one-dimensional. Their opinion or abilities may change over the course of a story, but the viewer generally sees what’s coming. In the Accountant, we have a unique character that’s living two separate lives; who also happens to have Asperger syndrome. He’s complex, methodical, very particular, and lives a life of simplicity and tight control. The viewer is curious about Christian because they don’t know what’s going on in his calculative-mind, or what he will do once the daily routines are disrupted. What we see in this feature is the appreciation and praise the cast and crew had for the character. The Director, Producer, Writer, cast and even Ben Affleck take some time to mention how they found the character/story fascinating. This film is just as much about the man (Christian) as it is the story. All involved found it to be a great film to be a part of.
– Behavioral Science (8:04 HD): Following the interest and love of the character; the cast and crew break down what they thought would have influenced Christian to become the man he does. They all felt the responsibility of depicting something authentic, compelling, and intriguing within the story. This can be seen by Ben Affleck’s performance, and the reactions of the supporting characters around him. There’s also plenty of compelling visuals that assist the viewers with what’s going on in the character’s mind. Fans of the film will want to check out this feature for sure.
– The Accountant in Action (7:14 HD): The Christian Wolff character has a difficulty with chaos, so he has a very strict and muted lifestyle. He’s also incredibly efficient and highly trained. Thus, his enemies are in way over their heads when they go toe-to-toe with him. The chorography seen in this film is fast, deliberate, and deadly. There’s no dancing and no playing around. Christian’s fighting style focuses on completing the attack with perfection, and Ben Affleck was the perfect actor to take on the role. Well…he and Matt Damon…but Matt’s already done a role that consists of a guy with unique and deadly skills (i.e. Jason Bourne). It also helps that Affleck is a very big and powerful guy, so his fighting abilities and deadly quickness seems even more believable. This feature takes a closer look at the training Ben Affleck underwent to prepare for his role as Christian Wolff.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this release.
The 1080p HD image comes with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, so there are black bars along the top and bottom of your HDTV screen. No need to worry though, as this image is incredibly clear and full of detail. This is one of those films that looks almost too good. It looks astounding really. Captured on 35mm film, the Accountant has a crisp and clear image. Even the dark scenes produce a very solid image. Most viewers won’t see the film grain unless they are standing directly in front of their HDTV screens. This transfer is full of detail, especially in the close-up shots. The shots with shallow depth-to-field reveal magnificent details in painted fences, clothing stitching, and all sorts of freckles and whatnot. This is a very impressive-looking transfer.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master audio track provides a wealth of encompassing effects that’ll surround the viewer. The rear channels aren’t used all the time, but when they are, they can make viewers jump. An example of this is when Christian is shooting his sniper rifle at his client’s farm. The scene is rather quiet as Christian sets up his shot. The farmer watches from a distance and other than his mild chatter to his wife, there’s not much to be heard. When Christian takes his first shot, the extremely powerful rife booms from the front speakers, and zooms past the viewer to the rear channels. The splattering sound of the exploding melon will certainly surprise viewers if they don’t know its coming. This is just one subtle surround effects heard in this transfer. The background music does a great job tying the scenes together as well. These tracks are also very subtle and assist with the blending of two separate scenes. The soundtrack never bogs down the dialog or other ambient effects heard in the film. Well..maybe during the intense strobe-light sessions, but other than that, it’s easy listening.
Overall, The Accountant is a really solid film. It has a compelling story about a character who strived not to let Asperger syndrome prevent him from having a fulfilled life. Instead of becoming a victim, Christian using his mathematical and cognitive abilities to thrive and excel his life. He’s a man of simple needs, but also has a huge appreciation for the arts and sciences. This story is practically three in one, so it can be a little confusing to follow at first. Nevertheless, all three storylines come together to reveal a much broader story that viewers will remember for a long time to come. Ben Affleck did a stellar job in his role as Christian Wolff. The cast and crew felt he was the perfect candidate for a role like this, and I share the same opinion. This film is not just compelling though. It’s also a message to others that various syndromes don’t have to take control of our lives. Instead, we can embrace them and channel the skills that come along with it. There’s a good chance this will be an inspirational film for many viewers.
If you are looking for a great thriller that’ll look and sound awesome on that High Definition home theater setup, I urge you to consider checking out this film. Pick it up on Blu-ray today!