The Counselor

Released on October 25, 2013 2 comments

What to do when you’ve got a bunch of aging stars, a formidable director well past his prime, and a screenwriter living off his rep as one of the bleakest chroniclers of humanity since Thomas Hardy?

We find out this week with the release of the “The Counselor,” a desperate attempt by all of the above to remain relevant. Unfortunately, they all failed.

Let’s start with Javier Bardem and wife Penelope Cruz. Javi seems to be on a never-ending quest to showcase the worst coiffs ever attempted by a real guy. As if the hideous blond wig he sported in last year’s “Skyfall,” wasn’t enough, he’s now shooting for the electroshock look, something of a cross between “Wild Thing” Ricky Vaughn and Sonic The Hedgehog. Bardem is a formidable actor, though the minute he comes on screen here, we start giggling and stop taking him seriously. Cruz has always been, and remains an untalented actress (see Captain Corelli’s Mandolin for real proof,) though one who continues to skate through on her attractiveness factor.

Speaking of hair, Brad Pitt’s grease-laden mane sloshing around under a white ten gallon hat is pretty silly as well, almost as ludicrous as his matching Urban Cowboy togs.

That’s three quick strikes and we’re nowhere close to being finished.

Cameron Diaz as a mildly charming, ruthless drug toughie? Awful. Almost as unbelievable as the forced, spotted tattoos all over her naked back. The bloom has been off this rose for a while. One of her minions should nut up and tell her.

At the same time, someone should inform the Studio Toads that Michael Fassbender remains a non-starter, no matter how hard they continue to push the Germo-Irishman into leading-man roles. On screen he’s charisma deprived, especially in this worn-out tale of a successful guy with a great looking wife who tumbles to the realization that he’s too dim to push himself toward anything real. Instead he’d rather use his limited intelligence to entangle himself with the most miscast, non-frightening cadre of drug pushers the screen has offered up since Danny The Dealer in “Withnail And I”. (A superb film.)

Director Ridley Scott has given us some remarkable big screen experiences, unfortunately nothing truly memorable since 1991’s “Thelma And Louise.” (Yes, we think “Gladiator” was overrated, its best picture Oscar notwithstanding.)

Finally, Cormac McCarthy needs to go back to his former life, writing dreary books about uninteresting people. He’s made a fortune and Oprah is a big fan. His screenplays won’t be missed.

  1. mike h. says:

    Thelma and Louise? You are gay.

  2. rnportland says:

    Another good review- wondered how this would be- not worth seeing.