The Counsellor (R16)

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The Counsellor
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18/11/2013
Not too much to add to the official View review. 'Disappointing' just about sums it up.
The dialogue, as well-written as it may be, is cynical, soulless and generally depressing. And dirty is ok when it makes sense for the story. When it doesn't just makes me feel like a shower and I don't mean that as 'cold shower' either.
It's kind of like Fight Club without the rage, the joy of destruction and the rebellion against consumerism. Money, drugs and meaningless sex narrated through quasi-wise monologues of shallow characters. Even the wonderful Michael Fassbender wanders around the script aimlessly wasting his ballet dancer precision of execution on this empty shell of a film.  Sad, very sad.
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Reviewer RobynNesbitt
10/11/2013
"The Counselor" is a flamboyant exhibition of attitude and style coupled with sociopathic behavior, and it becomes readily apparent that its style doesn't mesh with its content. Despite being ultra-violent and bleak, the movie's dialogue is brimming with long-winded philosophical conversations that will alienate as many viewers as it pleases. "The Counselor" seems to suggest that humanity at large is too self-centered and broken for personal perseverance, while it simply throws up obvious signposts of symbolism for what lies ahead. Working as a screenwriter for the first time after years of seeing his novels successfully adapted to the big-screen --"No Country for Old Men" (2007) and "The Road" (2009) -- Cormac McCarthy is stretching his powers of language, his razor-thin storyline, and the cast of characters way too far.

The movie revels in painting the bizarre, outlandish behavior of its wide-ranging cast of characters and distracting cameos that are never fleshed out to satisfaction. The bulk of the film consists of wordy meetings where characters interact using dense philosophical dialogue about the nature of their actions and greed, crimes and punishment. Another major issue with the movie is that the thin plot is obviously predetermined that there is little point in seeing it through. Both the counselor and his girlfriend are so bleakly fated from frame one they might as well have "victims" tattooed on their forehead.

Director Ridley Scott seems so infatuated with the script written by McCarthy that the pace of this sketchy story is in complete shambles. Cormac McCarthy suffers in his first cinema-born effort by insistently forcing his themes through only the dialogue. Here, characters deliver lines like "The truth has no temperature" and "grief transcends value" -- and when spoken by people, the words ring hollow and overly theatrical. "The Counselor" must have looked great on paper, but it doesn't translate well on the big screen. Except for an unfor
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Reviewer RobynNesbitt
10/11/2013
"The Counselor" is a flamboyant exhibition of attitude and style coupled with sociopathic behavior, and it becomes readily apparent that its style doesn't mesh with its content. Despite being ultra-violent and bleak, the movie's dialogue is brimming with long-winded philosophical conversations that will alienate as many viewers as it pleases. "The Counselor" seems to suggest that humanity at large is too self-centered and broken for personal perseverance, while it simply throws up obvious signposts of symbolism for what lies ahead. Working as a screenwriter for the first time after years of seeing his novels successfully adapted to the big-screen --"No Country for Old Men" (2007) and "The Road" (2009) -- Cormac McCarthy is stretching his powers of language, his razor-thin storyline, and the cast of characters way too far.

Set along the Texas/Mexico border, the counselor (Michael Fassbender) is an El Paso lawyer who decides to finance a major drug deal through one of his clients, nightclub owner Reiner (Javier Bardem). There is no back story for the counselor, except that he's in love with a sexy woman named Laura (Penélope Cruz), and he has undefined money troubles. It's the usual routine for a lifelong law-abiding lawyer gone bad: one major drug heist and I'm out. His clients who are now turned partners, Reiner and Westray (Brad Pitt), orchestrate the cartel delivery from Mexico to Chicago. They also make clear to the counselor that Mexican drug cartels don't mess around, in case anyone wasn't aware.

Naturally, the deal goes bad due to a coincidence, and the counselor scrambles to make things right, only to face the severity of his one bad decision. The movie quickly identifies the person pulling all the strings, Reiner's scheming, cheetah-obsessed mistress Malkina (Cameron Diaz). There's nothing left to do now but wade through the numerous decapitations, shootings, and sexual perversity.

The movie revels in painting the bizarre, outlandish behavior of
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