2016 Certificate: 15

Synopsis

Ben Affleck stars as accountant Christian Wolff, a high-functioning autistic whose skills as both number-cruncher and deadly assassin make him the perfect auditor for some of the world's shadiest criminal gangs. His latest job is to find where millions of dollars leached from an apparently legitimate robotics company have gone after junior employee Dana (Anna Kendrick) spotted the leak. However, with Treasury Department agent King (JK Simmons) closing in, Wolff discovers that the new job comes with an unusually high count... of bodies. Warrior director Gavin O'Connor deftly balances the books between action and intrigue.

Director

  • Gavin O'Connor

Cast

  • Ben Affleck

  • Anna Kendrick

  • Jon Bernthal

  • JK Simmons

  • John Lithgow

  • Jeffrey Tambor

  • Alison Wright

Review

Imagine a dark ops world where Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man received heavy weapons training from Jason Bourne while cooking the books for criminal companies around the world.

Then meet Ben Affleck's Christian Wolff, a bespectacled, socially awkward, backwoods accountant working from a down-at-heel office in a low-rent run of shops in Nowheresville, USA.

It's only when he meets JK Simmons' US Treasury attack dog Ray King that we begin to realise that Christian is also a globe-trotting bean-counter who doubles as a ruthless killing machine for numerous dodgy clients - from the Mafia to terrorist groups.

We also learn that Christian suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and was raised alongside his brother by his gung-ho army dad who made sure they could both handle themselves, particularly with Christian attracting unfavourable attention due to his condition.

Christian's latest job is apparently a straight one for a state-of-the-art robotics company where junior accounting clerk Dana (Kendrick) has spotted a gaping hole in the books, a discovery that makes her and Christian (especially after he quickly identifies the offender) the target of hit squad leader Branx (Jon Bernthal) and his shady employer.

Director Gavin O'Connor (​Warrior) painstakingly builds up the back-stories, cleverly knitting together flailing plot lines until a compelling whole emerges with the low-key Affleck's bluntly appealing number/bone-cruncher far from a social misfit (he bases himself in a collectible Airstream trailer replete with its own armoury and gallery of original paintings).

Judicious use of flashback patiently fills in the gaps but this also works on its own terms as an often witty action thriller with Christian particularly effective when delivering terminal head shots from inches away and then muttering "we should go..."

You'll enjoy it - count on it.

Tim Evans