The Ac­coun­tant

BEN AF­FLECK’S dull book­keep­ing job turns deadly af­ter the trea­sury rum­bles his game

TV & Satellite Week - - News - 2016, 15, 128MIN

THRILLER Sky Pre­miere HD, 12.45pm & 8pm/sky Pre­miere+1, 1.45pm & 9pm Ben Af­fleck stars as a foren­sic ac­coun­tant with a high-func­tion­ing form of autism who works for crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tions. See

AC­TION THRILLER Fri­day, Sky Pre­miere HD, 12.45pm & 8pm 3

RAIN MAN MEETS Ja­son Bourne ap­pears to be the premise of this ac­tion thriller star­ring Ben Af­fleck as an autis­tic sa­vant who’s a whiz at maths and a dab hand at killing peo­ple too. Yet if you can han­dle the movie’s iffy ba­sis and de­cid­edly lu­di­crous plot then it does de­liver en­ter­tain­ing shoot-’em-up thrills.

Af­fleck’s soli­tary Chris­tian Wolff is on the high-func­tion­ing end of the autis­tic spec­trum, and he has found a niche oc­cu­pa­tion to suit his skills and lim­i­ta­tions. A foren­sic ac­coun­tant with a rather spe­cialised clien­tele, he works for drug car­tels, arms deal­ers, money laun­der­ers and the Mob. If any­one has been cook­ing the crooks’ books, he’s the man who will find out. He moves in dan­ger­ous cir­cles, so it’s handy that he doesn’t just crunch numbers. Put by his mar­tinet mil­i­tary dad through a pun­ish­ing regime of com­bat train­ing dur­ing his child­hood, he is a crack shot and a lethal un­armed fighter.

But with sus­pi­cious US trea­sury agents JK Sim­mons and Cyn­thia Ad­dai-robin­son work­ing over­time to try to un­cover his iden­tity, he takes a rare le­git­i­mate job work­ing for a ro­bot­ics com­pany, only for the gig to turn deadly af­ter Anna Ken­drick’s chip­per ac­counts clerk dis­cov­ers a multi-mil­lion-dol­lar hole in the firm’s books.

Of course, as plots go, none of this ex­actly stands up to foren­sic scru­tiny, but the film’s flaws don’t de­tract from its in­ci­den­tal plea­sures. Look out for the mo­ments when Wolff blows on his fin­ger­tips: it’s the fussy ob­ses­sive-com­pul­sive rit­ual he per­forms be­fore he gets down to a task, whether that’s de­mol­ish­ing a plate­ful of neatly ar­ranged ba­con and eggs or a pla­toon of mer­ce­nary killers.

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