I honestly didn’t walk into The Counselor with a lot of high expectations. The reviews haven’t been great. Ridley Scott has not been on a roll with his directorial choices. Cormac McCarthy, who wrote the screenplay-his first, isn’t a particular favorite of mine even for his landmark works like The Road and No Country For Old Men.
I walked out of The Counselor, with a group of similarly puzzled and traumatized people, drove home, and when asked there to summarize how it was….I just muttered a few things and wandered out of the room. It’s not that it’s just bad (because it IS bad). It’s a phenomenal level of pretentiously high-handed bad mixed with moments that I suppose are suppose to shock or titillate, but just end up further alienating the viewer from what is already a more alien movie that Prometheus ever was.
Really a better title for this movie would have been “A Series of Frustratingly Vague Meetings”. I’m not exaggerating when I say that 90% of the film is Michael Fassbender going from meeting to meeting to meeting with other characters in the film, who sometimes get spin-off meetings, to discuss what I think was a drug deal that went really wrong. I cannot confirm that with any certainty, because the characters ……I don’t know what the opposite of exposition is (let’s just call it introposition), but at no time is the comprehension of events by the film’s viewers made a priority by McCarthy’s wreck of a script or Scott’s lazy direction.
The film does have a great cast. Penelope Cruz, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt are a talented bunch of people. The only one of them though that really takes that drivel given to him and makes it dance is Brad Pitt. Unfortunately, his character is only in about 15 minutes of the film and he’s the closest thing to a script translator the film has. I could almost figure out what in the seven blue hells was supposed to be going on with this film when he was there.
This is a mess. A giant, giant mess. Why in the world wasn’t any theater near where I live showing 12 Years as a Slave? Ridley Scott has successfully removed himself, after years of attempts, from my list of relevant film directors.
1.75/10 (You can thank Brad for the 1.75)
PS – In the category of things I cannot describe and cannot unsee, what Cameron Diaz did to that poor defenseless convertible is something I’m never going to be able to scrub from my memory.