Christian Wolff (Affleck) has a secret. Behind the cover of anunassuming CPA office, the otherwise resourceful and bashful mathsavant works free-lance for some of the world's most nefarious criminalenterprises in the world. Yemen, Pakistan, New York, London, no matterwhere the man goes, there's simply no balance book too unclean nor anyemployer too dangerous for Wolff not to find missing money. Thoserecalcitrant enough to think he knows too much, end up at the businessend of an anti-aircraft gun.<br><br>Yet this is only part of the story of Christian Wolff, as hinted in thepuzzle-piece graphics of the film's brilliant trailer. One thing we getto know almost straight away is Wolff is somewhere on the spectrum.Asperger's, PDD, high-functioning autism; "I prefer not to put a labelon things," says Jason Davis's neurologist character as young Chris(Lee) jostles in the background. Convenient; now we can assume Wolff'sabilities to uncooked 15 years of books in a single afternoon, kill anassailant with a J. Crew bridle belt and find the works of JacksonPollock stimulating are all functions of his un- categorized disorder.<br><br>Now in fairness to the film, Hollywood hasn't exactly had a stellartrack record when it comes to giving autistic characters moments in thelimelight, even when they're being portrayed with a modicum of sympathyor humanity. To give credit where credit is due, The Accountant does agood job differentiating between the attributes of Chris's disorderwith the skills he has ascertained through years of tutelage from hisroughneck father (Treveiler). As exploitative as the film could havebeen, I give props to writer Bill Dubuque for not making our entrenchedprotagonist an autism powered super assassin but rather a giftedassassin who also processes the world differently.<br><br>Yet the film also seems to want to add more to the soup adding layersof espionage thriller dramatics, murder mystery reveals and oddlyfamiliar flashbacks which all seem to serve different masters. Much ofthe film diverts attention between Wolff and blackmailed Treasuryanalyst Marybeth Medina (Addai-Robinson) who is coaxed by Director King(Simmons) to find the mystery accountant. The buildup in itself isalright but the backlog of reveals and plot-twists culminates in onefifteen minute exposition drop that capsizes the film like throwing abrick at a miniature sailboat.<br><br>Meanwhile the mystery afoot in The Accountant involves Wolff's newestfreelance job which has him investigating biomedical pioneer LamarBlack (Lithgow) and his company. While initially a mundane audit job,Wolff finds himself in a web of intrigue that ensnares the company'sboard of directors, a sinister security force and a salaried accountant(Kendrick) who first uncovered the can of worms. <br><br>Again, the mystery in itself could have worked if it lent itself moreorganically to the character. Unfortunately the unexpected MichaelClayton (2007) milieu only made me want to see Wolff's less legitimatework all the more. It'd be one thing if Wolff was a pedestrian CPA withAsperger's, who was suddenly thrust into a plot of corporate intrigue.Yet knowing that the man has a clientele that includes terrorists, drugcartels, the mob and a suspiciously quaint melon farmer, I keptexpecting bigger fish to come swimming up.<br><br>Overall, The Accountant is a skillfully done semi-decent thriller thatcould have done infinitely better if it defined what it was early andkept its focus. Is it a cerebral mystery, a ballsy action flick, afamily drama, a cautionary tale, a morality play, an excuse to commendBen Affleck's range; certainly it can be all. But sadly it settles forbeing a knower of all and a master of none.