15/11/2013

The Counsellor

"There's no way this film could be bad with all those star names, a script from Cormac McCarthy and Ridley Scott in the director's chair," said some poor, misguided fools.

It was difficult to go into a screening of The Counsellor without the lingering stench it left on the American box office and several middling reviews, and while some have gone too far and claimed it's one of the worst films ever (which is incorrect as well as idiotic), it's not the complete car crash I was hoping for. In truth, it's just odd, middling, and boring for long stretches, and if it weren't for Cameron Diaz's encounter with a yellow Ferrari, no one would probably even be talking about it.

So, there's this guy only known as 'The Counsellor' and he works as a lawyer when he's not whispering toe-curling sweet nothings in preggers Penelope Cruz's ear before diving between her legs. He and his chums are all involved in a deal of some kind and, amazingly, things go tits up and The Counsellor is forced to realise that getting involved with a stoned Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz's "Bajan" cheetah-loving crazy Malkina and yet another Javier Bardem character with shit hair and Gianni Versace's early-90s wardrobe is not the best idea he's ever had.

A drug deal gone bad is not the most original or difficult plot in the world, but it's such a convoluted, talky mess that you never feel like you know what's going on. The foundations are creaky from the get-go because we're never given a chance to see The Counsellor get seduced by money and deals because he's already friends with everyone. It's like they forgot to write a first act because they were too busy throwing in scenes with chasing cheetahs and Malkina probing naive Laura for deets on her sex life. Everyone has a monologue, and if you think you don't understand what's going on just take a look at the actor's faces as they're saying it, because they haven't got a clue either.

I like Cormac McCarthy because he's written some amazing novels and his name sounds a bit like Caramac, but this won't be added to his list of accomplishments because not only is it not good enough, but worst of all, it's too dull to be.