A-Listers go overboard in slow and twisted attempt at art-film
Thanks to 20th Century Fox, we had the chance to see ‘The Counselor’ before its Australian release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film, because there is no better critic than yourself!
The film follows an enigmatic Counselor (Michael Fassbender) who frequently deals with the biggest mobsters in town. One of his regular clients is Reiner (Javier Bardem) who is dating a weird hottie named Malkina (Cameron Diaz). Her intentions are not so clear, and neither are her sexual preferences. Reiner offers The Counselor to be part of a huge drug business and also invites him to join in on managing his chain of nightclubs.
The Counselor discusses these offers with his trusted friend Westray (Brad Pitt), who suggests him to walk away from the deal. The Counselor ignores his friend’s advice and still goes ahead with Reiner’s business deal, with terrible consequences for himself as well as for his future wife Laura (Penelope Cruz), unleashing a twisted roller-coaster of betrayal and crime.
Directed by Ridley Scott, ‘The Counselor’ seems to be a failed case of Hollywood trying to be artistic. There is far too much dialogue, and a lot of it is extremely weird and filled with coarse language. The story is very confusing and hard to follow since it uses flashbacks as well as flash-forwards, often without any logic applied to it – so don’t be surprised if you still don’t get the plot after half an hour.
‘The Counselor’ is a clear example where a film with great actors and an amazing director is ruined by a poor script. Not only is the screenplay confusing and twisted, it also often makes no sense and seems to try and compensate for this with explicit and extremely weird sexual scenes. One scene in particular involves Cameron Diaz’ character engaging in such a weird sexual act that it without a doubt will be the only thing you will remember from this film after leaving the cinema.
Performance-wise, the whole cast is great though, with Bardem and Fassbender as major highlights, followed by Brad Pitt‘s enigmatic Texan character, while Cameron Diaz shows us a side that we almost literally have never seen from her before.
Overall, ‘The Counselor’ is a huge let down, as it aims big with a cast full of A-Listers that can’t save a movie with a plot so messy that it provides more questions than answers. Watch it at your own risk.
‘The Counselor’ opens Thursday 7 November 2013.