'The Counselor' Review By Bawnian©-Dexeus
It was too gynecological to be sexy.
Directed by: Ridley Scott.
Starring: Michaels Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt.
I've never read a Corman McCarthy book. Of his previous work that I know is No Country For Old Men (the film). That's pretty much about it when it comes to this author. While not being a fan by any stretch of the imagination, I had the opportunity to delve into an original script that had the talents of director Ridley Scott and an attractive looking cast with performers like Fassbender, Bardem, Cruz, Diaz and the ever so popular Pitt. Unfortunately, and it tends to happen a lot, that even with the most talented team possible, there is a great chance of said film to fail where it should succeed.
Ridley Scott's new endeavor deals with how the world of drug trafficking works and the ugly nature it thrives on. This of course introduces the titular character, Counselor (Fassbender) in bed with his gorgeous wife Laura (Cruz) as they are enjoying the passions of their youth and ravishing bodies. As a lawyer by day, he works with a drug kingpin named Reiner (Bardem) on the side, accompanied by his lovely wife Malkina (Diaz). While the happy down to Earth couple engage in coitus, the dark voyeuristic pair spend their afternoons watching their cheetah pets hunt prey for mere pleasure.
While it may seem pretty on the outside fro both parts of the world, it is brought to light that Counselor was previously offered an opportunity to work for Reiner and declined. But like all men, his weakness for a taste of greed gets the better of him. He later decides to make a deal with Texan man named Winer (Pitt) in a transaction that will give a handsome payday for him to retire with a woman he's to wed. From here, events spiral out of control for Counselor and all parties involved.
Though I won't go much into detail of what happens next, all I can say is that with this setup, it had the right idea. But maybe it was the choice of editing and pacing that became its Achilles heel worthy of being beat like a dead horse. To the last minutes you ask end up asking yourself if there is an ounce of care for the characters. Where you invested enough? To many changes between the scenes to get a full picture. Then it does the mistake of branching out, leaving the protagonist as a supporting role to a near cameo appearance. Visually, on the other hand, it magnificent. It highlights the beauty and macabre of this part of the world reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh's Traffic.
Regarldess, Fassbender's performance is excellent as expected and even more so in the final act. Bardem and Diaz did their parts with flair to the point where it made Penelope's and Brad's just as good. Diaz does get center stage and not in the most flattering of positions. Yes, the rumors are true and depending on who you are, you may get a good blood rise or chalk it up as pointless. Indeed Diaz's character has a carpet rub with the windshield of a Ferrari with no panties to the point where she orgasms. Guess my only complaint here is the lack of precipitation. But, as Reiner would describe it: "It was too gynecological to be sexy". Nevertheless, Malkina's name, tattoo of choice and love for big predatory cats explains itself.
Overall, it had everything right on paper which ended up being as such.
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.