Release date: October 25, 2012
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Cormac McCarthy
Official website: thecounselormovie.com
Great cast? Check. Great director? Check. Great writer?. Check. Great movie? Che -- err -- well, almost.
At one point during the first act, Westray, Brad Pitt sporting long hair under white cowboy hat, tells Michael Fassbender's character, known only as the counselor, "You don't know anyone, until you know what they want."
It's a great setup for a movie that comes very close to being amazing flick, but it never maintains the mystery that line suggests.
So, what's it all about? That's a good question, because most of the time, it's really hard to tell what -- if anything is going on. It begins with a womanizing lawyer (Fassbender), who is ready to take that next big step into the shady world of money and drugs. He gets involved with a wanna be club owner, Reiner (Javier Bardem) and his sociopahtic, dead-in-the-eyes girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz) in a drug deal that goes -- you guessed it -- horribly wrong.
The narrative stays centered on the Counselor, as he tries to save face and get out of town with his new wife, played by Penelope Cruz, before the bad guys find him. There is a lot of play at tension and suspense, but the plot twists come a little too early, leaving little suspense and the film slowly winds towards an ultimately unsatisfying finale.
The film comes really, really close to being great, and it has everything to do with the cast. Bardem, as usual, is terrific, and Fassbender's star continues to rise. Throw in Brad Pitt, and between the three of them, there are some really entertaining scenes. The only one who feels a little out of place is Diaz. As the conniving girlfriend, she feels terribly miscast and never really feels right for the role.
As good as the actors are, none of the characters are never redeeming. They are all, for the most part horrible people that have horrible thing happen. First time screen writer Cormac McCarthy, who wrote the novels "No Country For Old Men" and "The Road". His first attempt at a Hollywood script isn't bad, but it's full of long, overly talkative scenes that give the actors some room to chew scenery, but few of them advance the plot in a way that allows the audience to really follow anyone's motives -- or care.
"The Counselor" looks great and features terrific performances from the cast, but it's little long winded at times and the clutter only drains any dramatic tension from Sir Ridley's latest. Waiting for the Blu-Ray is probably a good idea.
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