By Joe Chadowski
It breaks my heart, and simultaneously infuriates me to report that The Counselor is subpar. And the problem can be narrowed down to one thing; the narrative. Or the lack thereof. The Counselor is written by Cormac McCarthy, a novelist who specializes in leaden stories highlighting the corruption of humans, and who rose to fame as the author of No Country for Old Men.
Although untested as a screenwriter, McCarthy as a screenwriter just seemed to gel as an idea. Herein lies the problem; McCarthy does not alter his method of writing and The Counselor’s screenplay is delivered akin to a novel. The result is a film completely devoid of a narrative, meaning the story or background of the characters is non-existent.
The result is a collection of scenes happening in some sort of ham-fisted, incoherent jumble, and the characters in the movie just reacting to their surroundings. There is both a lack of description in the attempted story and a disquieting air of self-satisfaction that permeates throughout the film.
Ridley Scott’s effort to woo you with pseudo-prophetic dialogue and kitsch is downright insulting, and completely unbecoming of the director of Blade Runner and Alien (two of the greatest films of all time). In other words, The Counselor is neither as incisive nor as dour as it could have been.
On the flip side, I can’t think of a better vehicle to prove that film is an art. On paper, The Counselor has everything going for it; the cast, the director, screenwriter. And yet, the result is a failure… Film, like anything that can be considered art, is the collaborative effort of a collective idea.
The Counselor is a jumbled mess that tries to be everything, and ends up being nothing. What a waste of talent.