Starring: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Run Time: 117 mins
Genre: Crime/ Drama
Opens October 25th
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Hey Phoenix Film Fans! Opening this week is “The Counselor”, directed by Ridley Scott, written by Cormick McCarthy, best known for his novels “All the Pretty Horses” and “No Country for Old Men”. This is McCarthy’s first crack at writing a feature film screenplay which as most writers can attest to is very different from writing a novel. How does the film fare? Read on to find out.
As a man that appears to have it all; a beautiful fiance named Laura (Penelope Cruz), a high powered career as a criminal lawyer and a long list of clientele, why would the man known as the “Counselor” (Michael Fassbender) voluntarily enter into the high stakes world of drug trafficking? Under the guidance of club owner Reiner (Javier Bardem) and Westray (Brad Pitt), both whom vehemently advised against getting involved in this line of work, help guide the Counselor into the shady underbelly of the drug trafficking world. The key is to trust nobody, especially women like Reiner’s latest girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz) who has a hidden agenda of her own brewing beneath the surface of her otherwise cold exterior.
When the Counselor’s first deal goes awry(like most deals do) from an informant’s beheading, everyone’s life is at risk. Will the Counselor be able to get out of this unscathed with his life, love and money intact or will he meet a worse fate that is common among the drug world?
Don’t be fooled by the impressive billing of director, writer and actors assembled for this rather unimpressive film. To be fair, there is a great deal of dialogue that is profound, memorable and a few unique plot points. What the film is lacking in is a clear direction of a storyline with enough back story to make it understandable to the viewer. The first 30 minutes or so is underdeveloped, focusing more of the relationships between men and women rather than why a lawyer was getting involved with people within a questionable industry. There is not clear protagonist or antagonist but rather a grouping of stories that when cut together make for interesting vignettes, but in the overall plot, make no sense to the purpose of the story. The performances were strong and deliver intensity; the cinematography is gorgeous, but the story is not strong enough to make this a concise, solid film. You be the judge when “The Counselor” opens in theaters nationwide starting Friday October 25, 2013.