Monday, October 28, 2013


THE COUNSELOR is a film which is made up of a great many pieces and parts. It is directed by the legendary Sir Ridley Scott, written by Pulitzer-prize winning author (and legend in his own right), Cormac McCarthy, and has a cast of well-received and experienced actors. In the end, the film is proof that acquiring all of those great pieces and parts isn’t enough; you have to put them together correctly and effectively.
The counselor (Michael Fassbender), in an effort to support his fiancĂ© (Penelope Cruz), gets into the drug-running business with long-time Cartel hombres (Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, and Cameron Diaz). Things get deadly for the counselor when a large shipment is mysteriously stolen…

THE COUNSELOR is a simple story of a man who just makes a bad decision when his back is up against the wall. In need of cash, the counselor sees dollar signs in the world of drug-running to save his ass. Unfortunately, the film gets completely lost in its own script. Scene after scene is composed of characters sitting around waxing philosophical musings about love, sex, money, and religion…reciting convoluted dialogue that no real human being would ever say outside of a classroom and dragging out scenes endlessly. The story of the film vanishes over and over again as scenes go nowhere with no point, and worse, nearly every scene seems to exist in its own world and has nearly no connection to the previous one. It’s dull, un-interesting, and intolerable to sit through. The characters may recite some interesting points about life and love, but it doesn’t do shit for storytelling. It’s a narrative disaster.
Characters are developed well enough only because they spend so much time sitting (or laying) around telling us about themselves. It’s a clear case of telling and not showing, and it’s difficult to connect with anybody. The directing of Sir Ridley Scott doesn’t improve the slog we have to sit through; although there are a few beautiful moments to look at, it overall feels very un-inspired.

Acting isn’t terrible, but isn’t great either. Michael Fassbender gets most of the work and does well, including an outburst of emotion near the end which is unexpected and executed nicely. Brad Pitt is a waste of space and seems to exist only to look snazzy on the screen, and Penelope Cruz isn’t around enough to make much of an impression. Cameron Diaz doesn’t add much and is just around to fill a hole, which she does just fine.
THE COUNSELOR finally picks up some speed in the third act; giving you hope that there may be something to salvage. Just when things pick up momentum, however, the film abruptly ends without offering resolution to any character or plot point. On top of everything else, exactly what involvement the main character has to the drug-running is never once mentioned; a terrible omission which leaves a large hole in what is apparently supposed to be a character-driven movie. Ultimately THE COUNSELOR is a collection of great pieces and parts which are not even assembled together, but thrown in a bucket and kicked across the floor.


No comments:

Post a Comment

A few rules:
1. Personal attacks not tolerated.
2. Haters welcome, if you can justify it.
3. Swearing is goddamn OK.