The Counselor (2013)

I found it incredibly hard to concentrate on The Counselor. I can tell you quite a bit about the wonderful landscape shots and the cool camera work, but I hardly remembered what had happened as I was watching. Two thoughts kept bugging me: first, the amount of neat shots of Fassbender was perfect; second, why are these people in this film? Pitt, Fassbender, Cruz, Bardem… I want the intensity of Shame, I want the genius of Fight Club, I want those actors in great films. And I want Ridley Scott making films that leave you breathless like Alien or Blade Runner. I want no talent to be wasted.

Because that’s what The Counselor is — living up to the “it’s all shit” quote, the film disappoints over and over again, with only a handful of bright moments. This is not nothing happening like in a Sofia Coppola film, because what happens is loud and flashy, yet lacks charm. The minutes roll by slow and uninteresting and the word thriller seems inappropriate.

There are two events that intrigued me: the infamous car hood scene with Diaz, which made me laugh out loud and remains my favourite scene; and the leopards. I liked how random the leopards felt, and it fit well with the film’s tone, long after I had given up on it and accepted that I’d committed to two hours of wasted time.

Fassbender is a great actor, that has been established, but even with him in the shot and doing the talking, the dialogues between characters were boring. I felt nothing as Fassbender was talking on phone and crying, and before The Counselor, I would have thought that was impossible. That final Pitt scene almost made me throw up and I don’t remember anything happening after that.

I liked Diaz, by the way. I found her performance intriguing and her character at least a bit interesting — which is more than could be said about most of the others. The Counselor was just as unforgettable and uneventful as American Hustle, yet I’ve always thought O’Russell and Scott are light years away from each other. Yet both have created some grade A bullshit. Go figure.

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26 responses to “The Counselor (2013)

  1. I did enjoy the film, but it’s a difficult watch, it’s almost as if they’re working hard to try and get you to loose concentration and bury you under mountains of philosophy, I do enjoy philosophy but after a while it got tiresome. I felt the acting was solid across the board and a decent amount of the plot intriguing and I thought the ending fitted the ending.

  2. What the hell has happened to Ridley Scott?!

  3. I haven’t seen this because of the horrific reviews, but apparently if you just read the screenplay by itself it’s pretty good! Just because it was written by Cormac McCarthy though, and he’s a genius. I’ll probably never see this, but great write-ep Elina! 🙂

    • Run as fast as you can in any other way, quick! I honestly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone to watch this crap. I’ll keep it in mind about the screenplay then, maybe it will make more sense when reading it! 🙂

  4. The cast does make this material better, but it’s way too wordy. Also not to mention that it hardly ever makes any sense. Good review.

  5. Like Anna said, I never got around to watching this because of the bad reviews it received and as much as I love love love Michael Fassbender I really don’t think it’s worth my time. Your review is really well-written though, interesting to hear your thoughts.

  6. God, this movie. I had high hopes for it, and it just sucked. There was so much wasted potential. The car scene was definitely the best because it was so over the top. I like that you included a picture of Natalie Dormer too. I can’t believe they only had her in this for like 2 minutes!

  7. The best thing about this film was that ‘it’s all shit’ quote from Pitt. He was good too.

    Fassbender looked like crap in this movie, like he is about to dry up and turn into sand at any point. I’m not able to look at him the same way after this.

  8. For such a big cast, it’s a disappointment so much crud could come out of their talent. The Counselor still intrigues me to see it, but I’ll probably save my time and energy. Nice review Elina!

    • I was curious, too, but I honestly regret watching this one. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever regretted seeing a film. Thanks, though!

  9. Pingback: Month in Review – June | French Toast Sunday

  10. Oh god i just did not enjoy this film… at all!
    Like Hustle i was lured under the big name billings! Ugh foolish me!

  11. I think this is the next movie I’m going to watch. It sounds like it might be, you know….my kind of fun.

  12. Nice review! I liked a lot about this, but there was a lot of crap about it. I was much more interested in the supporting characters rather than The Counselor himself.

  13. Couldn’t agree with ya more on this Elina! The Counselor was an epic squandering of everyone’s time, talent, and. . . well. . .pretty much everything. Haha! Great great review here. Sry I’ve taken so long to get to it

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