So the new Ridley Scott movie, The Counselor, came out on Friday and people seem to be super butthurt about it. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it, “A droning meditation on capitalism in the form of a thriller.” Hey, relax, Pistol Pete. I know it’s got an all star cast and an Oscar winning director and it was written by Cormac McCarthy (the guy who penned No Country For Old Men), but what did you expect? The second coming of Yeezus?
This is a film that shouldn’t be approached too technically. Take a big step back, ignore the minor details of the plot construction and view it for what it what it is: a really good-looking film. Shit's aesthetically pleasing as balls. It’s like a Georges Seurat painting about blow and Mexican Cartels. Plus, there are fucking Cheetahs. Two of them.
To provide a little context, the movie is about a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) getting caught up in the business of the drug dealers he represents. He gets Busta Rhymes "Arab Money" rich and things are all copacetic until the Mexican Cartel crashes the party. Also, Cameron Diaz fucks a car at one point, which was weird.
But to reiterate, you can’t focus too hard on the plot because the plot is completely ridiculous. Instead, it's all about the visual, and part of this visual is the oversaturation of characters—fully-formed, three-dimensional characters with crazy person haircuts and dozens more half-baked, minor characters who created a nice little Tex-Mex mosaic. Let's run through some of the most colorful highlights:
Michael Fassbender leads as the previously mentioned counselor, the sleekest, classiest man alive who is in way over his head. Although anyone who’s seen Shame knows Fastboner is packing some serious heat, his performance was actually kind of flaccid.
Javier Bardem, captain of the Cormac McCarthy Varsity team, plays Reiner, the eccentric drug dealer with the hair of a lesbian facing a mid-life crisis. He dresses like a homeless person who just found a hundred million dollars and it’s fucking awesome.
Brad Pitt plays Westray, middleman with a ten-gallon hat and Tom Brady's hair circa 2011. This dude has by far the best lines in the whole film, but as the film progresses his personality is completely inconsistent.
But by far the best character in The Counselor is the cold, ruthless, sexual beast Malkina played by Cameron Diaz. This chick has got that Portia de Rossi hair, cheetah tattoos all over her back and probably a grip of STD’s.
Penelope Cruz is Laura, the counselor’s babe in the woods wife (emphasis on babe), and is somehow the least sexual character in the entire film, which is a total bummer.
Rosie Perez was made an appearance because a Puerto Rican accent is pretty much the same thing as a Mexican one, right?
Ridley Scott: You’ll sound authentic and not totally ridiculous. Trust me on this one, Rosie.
Rosie Perez: Trust you? The last time I trusted you, Mookie, I ended up with a son.
Even John Leguizamo and Dean Norris (Detective Mister-Clean-Vick-Mackey in Breaking Bad) were each in this movie for, like, ten seconds. It was like Ridley Scott was rubbing in our faces how much cash he blew on this thing.
When watching, I tried to pick up on the overall message, but kept coming up short. Yeah, it’s totally a film about excess and greed...but also about how Mexican cartels are a real word problem that is being unaddressed...but, wait a second, it’s about futility...but, actually, its totally some sort of Orpheus thing...just playing, you guys, it’s a movie about Cameron Diaz’s being a slut. It was like if your girlfriend sent you to the grocery store to get tampons, but she didn’t tell you what specifically you’re looking for, so you just stand there like a moron trying to guess what to get. And that’s when you realize that you have a fourth grader's knowledge of the female anatomy and it’s useless to even try to figure this shit out. Cormac McCarthy is more mysterious and complicated than a vagina.
Like I said, the aesthetics alone make this movie better than most, and the acting—although I’ve been straight talking shit—was actually pretty solid overall. I think a lot of people have been getting sand in their clams regarding The Counselor solely based on the ending. See, McCarthy loves to set up these amazing stories and then, when you've taken the bait, drop trow and lay a big ol' stanley steamer on your chest. That’s just how he rolls and you can’t be that mad at him for it. Do you, Cormac, do you.
Four Pins Rating: 8.0 /10 Brad Pitts Eating Food While Talking