The Counselor is a 2013 movie made by Ridley Scott and written by no other than Cormac McCarthy, the 2007 Pulitzer winner for “The Road”. The book was successfully dramatized in a post-apocalyptic movie directed by John Hillcoat and written by Joe Penhall, a good move perhaps.
McCarthy’s dialogue is too heavy without being relevant for the plot, and everything is much too cryptic. Sometimes is clumsy and bland, the action doesn’t seem to be built logically. A lot of side stories without relevance are elegantly narrated, making you to ask “What was the point?” Acting is good but disparate.
The Counselor – Plot
Watching the trailer you would expect a sexy action thriller with some blood spilled just for color. Watching the movie, you will suddenly feel bored and cheated. “Why, this is Ridley Scott? And this is Cormac McCarthy’s debut as a screenwriter? It can’t be possible!” Unfortunately it is very possible. The critics in favor are great suckers to these big names and nothing more. The movie makes no sense and tries in vane to be resumed just in these words told to the main character, “The Counselor”: “You are the world you have created. And when you cease to exist, that world you have created will also cease to exist.” Wow! Deeply philosophic truth.
Let me explain, then. It starts with Fassbender and his lover/future wife Laura under white sheets making a witty and nonsensical conversation about sex. After the prolonged sequence and hairy words during more than four minutes, you will start to smell the rat. In the meantime, a sort of a dandy playboy mixes drinks in the dessert being delighted with his very sexy girlfriend in watching a pair of cheetahs outrunning rabbits. Later we found out that the female, named Malkina, is driving a sort of sexual pleasure watching those cheetahs kill. She has all sorts of pleasures, she also wonders about them. Anyway, the thrill has to be about a drug deal going wrong and the Mexican Cartel showing some muscles.
Conversations about snuff films with decapitations, weird sex and even weirder pick-up night club methods, with a strange killing device thrown up in it without connection makes The Counselor an unbearable movie.
It stars a great deal of good actors who were thrilled to work with Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy. Michael Fassbender is “The Counselor”, the main character, a lawyer with good connections which proved to be disastrous eventually. Penélope Cruz is Laura, the lover/future wife. Cameron Diaz is Malkina, Reiner’s hyper-sexual malefic lover. Javier Bardem is Reiner, a club owner/playboy and associate with the counselor. Rosie Perez is Ruth, a criminal in jail asking the counselor for help. Rubén Blades is Jefe, a Cartel boss. Brad Pitt is Westray, another playboy mixed in the drug deal, throwing whenever he can McCarthy’s wisdom nonsensical pearls. “I’ve seen it all, counselor,” says Westray. “It’s all shit.”
“Carlos the Jackal” Edgar Ramírez appears in a strong cameo as a Priest who doesn’t want to give Malkina absolution because she wasn’t Catholic, or something like this.
“Hitler” Bruno Ganz appears in another cameo as a Diamond Dealer turned philosopher. “At our noblest, we announce to the darkness that we will not be diminished by the brevity of our lives.”
The “Breaking Bad” Dean Norris, this time is a cocaine buyer, not an FBI agent; John Leguizamo is a guy named “Coverall Man Randy” who explains some weird Cartel jokes to the buyer (Norris); Toby Kebbell is Tony, a pasted cameo, or maybe they cut the rest, I don’t know.
There are also two decapitations, and the third is suggested since the character is shown without its head. It is the worst movie I’ve watched in a long time, mostly because I try to manage my time better. With this one, I felt in the trap.
Unexpectedly from Ridley Scott, after The Gladiator, or even Prometheus, the trailer is much better than the movie. There’s not much to spoil with it.
Unfortunately, the professional critics are somehow right in their down voting this as a waste of a movie. Don’t waste your time with The Counselor. Its 5.3 rating out of ten on imdb is enormous.
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