The Counselor (2013) Movie Review
Released : Oct. 25th, 2013
Reviewed : Nov. 9th, 2013
Genre : Drama / Crime / Thriller
Story (from IMDB) : A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.
CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS!
The Counselor was easily one of my most anticipated films of the year. Starring a great cast, directed by the well known Ridley Scott, and wrote by Cormac McCarthy who has such titles as No Country For Old Men and The Road led me believe this would be a great film all around. Sadly however it was lacking in a few too many departments.
One major problem is the story itself. When McCarthy wrote the story he focused more on some eccentric dialog than the story itself. So since the story takes the backside for the majority of the movie we are left with moments where symbolism is poorly implemented and by the end it shows why this was a poor choice. With this the film mainly boils down to one character talking to a series of others about a drug deal, being warned against it, and then watching the consequences of it play out. Now this all plays out over the course of two hours and by the end you are left wondering what took so long for it. The film has a rather slow pace to begin with because of this so when the big moments finally hit you are already tired of the film. Throughout though there is little to no character development so for some we are left wondering why we should even care about what happens to any of them. What I can say is that there are a few lines and conversations early on that do come back towards the end in a meaningful manner.
Instead of focusing on the main story instead we are given many filler scenes that add very little to nothing to the film. These scenes can range from useless conversations, a random sex scene, and one in particular which involves Cameron Diaz having sex with a car. I did indeed say with the car itself. Scenes like these are thrown in almost for a shock value but in return just leave you wondering why. All it does is only take you away from the story that is already being pushed away.
Thankfully the big saving grace that alone raises the score for this film is the excellent cast. Michael Fassbender plays The Counselor who you get to see his full plan not only start but slowly fail as well. He does a great job in the end espcially towards the end when everything starts to hit the fan. Penélope Cruz plays Laura who is The Counselors fiance. She has a very small amount of screen time but plays a critical role towards the end. Cameron Diaz as the sociopath Malkina is great. It’s easily the best role shes had in a long time and plays it off perfectly. Javier Bardem though as Reiner is the stand out role. His sometimes over the time lavish character is the most memorable thing about this movie. Even with all the flaws he still deserves a award of some kind for it. Brad Pitt as Westray rounds it out with a memorable way as well. His role is somewhat generic in a sense with his character really just being the one to relay the bad news here and there. However Brad Pitt will have one of my favorite scenes in movies this year though (I won’t spoil it but once you see the film you will know what scene it is).
In the end without the great cast this film would be scoring much lower. A lackluster story that takes two hours to do anything with kills any mood as does the constant filler scenes. What could of been great turned into below average.