The Accountant confronts the audience with several story lines that, like the fur of an obese poodle that’s been running in the mud, appear impossible to untangle. But with a masterful (if odd) performance from Ben Affleck, the major chords are struck early: he plays a high-performing autistic man whose father lashed him into a simulation of normality.

Several schools for autistic children are shown, almost as interludes in what transforms itself into a high-violence mash-up. Affleck, for the most part, keeps his features rigid and focused on mathematics, but he kicks and wades his way through foes. Two performances in one.

The sharp point about Affleck is that he is working for gangland outfits and twisting his skills in their (and his) favour. But such is his expertise that he is also hired by straight-arrow companies to check their books — which he does convincingly, despite an overload of beautiful women, Anna Kendrick being one. (And he doesn’t know how to react to them.)

The film’s oddities help make The Accountant stand out among ultra-violent films. It does require some concentration. Sometimes it seems director Gavin O’Connor wanted to make a film about autism, but threw in violence for the sake of what he thinks the fans want.

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