‘The Accountant’ doesn’t add up despite great cast

Perhaps an attempt to reimagine the story of the awkward genius in “Good Will Hunting,” “The Accountant” presents its own oddball math whiz, but falls soundly into the mediocre category.

Ben Affleck takes on role similar to Matt Damon’s mathematically-gifted janitor in “Good Will Hunting.” However, the film lacks the heart and optimism of the 1997 classic.  

The plot revolves around an autistic savant who cannot connect with anyone other than his father and brother. Despite being a mathematical genius, he fails to develop any semblance of social skills, resulting in an isolated life.

However, he uses his methodic, detail-oriented mind to conduct clandestine accounting work for the world’s most dangerous criminals in return for massive payments. Affleck also uses his intelligence to undermine the illegal activities of those who violate his moral code.

Affleck delivers a dedicated, if bland portrayal of an autistic mathematical intellectual. The plot relies on predictable reveals to entertain the viewer, lacking proper substance or structure. Unexplainable gaps in the storyline are glossed over with no explanation.

The weak plot limps along, propped up by a host of talented actors including Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow.

Perhaps the most redeeming facet of the film is its focus on familial relationships, particularly between father and son.

Affleck’s character is isolated without the ability to recognize social cues. However, his dedicated father teaches him coping skills to overcome his disability. Similarly, his little brother supports him throughout his childhood and they develop a fierce loyalty. More than any other theme, the idea of family resonates throughout the film.

“The Accountant” is far from a perfect movie. In fact, it is pretty forgettable and despite a stacked cast it lacks anything noteworthy. That said, the genuine message about the importance of family and the perseverance of the autistic protagonist help salvage the film.