Friday, November 1, 2013

The Counselor

A morally compromised attorney's (Michael Fassbender) involvement in a major international drug deal places him on a one way course towards misery and despair. With The Counselor, director Ridley Scott and company seem to be stepping aside for Cormac McCarthy, the esteemed novelist who makes his screenwriting debut. McCarthy, who appears to be mining remains from No Country for Old Men territory in a screenplay that needed to undergo several more rewrites, offers a script which probably read better on the page, thus presenting a serious problem considering everything in the film is secondary to the writing. To make matters worse, the film has ambitions of making a statement on an American culture that benefits from the woes of a savage drug culture, yet exists almost solely for the payoff of its violent scenes! The dream cast, which also includes Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz, struggles and sounds mannered delivering the awkward dialogue, and its often difficult to determine what the actors are supposed to be doing or who exactly their characters are. Only Javier Bardem adds a little flavor, whose departure takes whatever wind was left in the sales of this inert, highfalutin garble.