Film: The Counselor
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Cormac McCarthy
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz and Cameron Diaz
This film follows the counselor who is played by Michael Fassbender. He is dating and in love with Penélope Cruz. Cruz is a good girl and she believes that Fassbender is a good guy. It turns out though that he works as a public defender and has helped out a lot of shady individuals. He makes good money, but has an idea to make even more.
One of his clients is played by Javier Bardem. He is outrageous looking, makes a lot of money from the drug industry and is dating an exotic Cameron Diaz. They talk about going into some kind of business venture, but they don’t come out and say what it is.
They have a mutual friend in Brad Pitt. He also is involved in drugs, his hands are dirty, but he doesn’t live the lifestyle like Bardem. He states at one point that when it gets to be too much he can walk away and live a normal lifestyle. The question for him is can he walk away like he says? If that’s the case why doesn’t he walk away now?
We see Fassbender meet with a diamond dealer played by Bruno Ganz. They look at some very expensive merchandise and Fassbender informs us that he is going to ask Cruz to marry him. We do learn that he has something in the works to afford the diamond.
Fassbender goes to visit a client who is in prison. The client is played by Rosie Perez. They go over things for her case and Perez tells Fassbender about her son who was just arrested. We saw him in the previous scene. He is played by Richard Cabral and he drives a motorcycle. We learn that he was arrested going 200 miles per hour on a motorcycle. Fassbender doesn’t believe it, but he bails him out.
During all of this, we see that Fassbender is helping to smuggle drugs into the United States. It is being done along with Bardem and Pitt. They are smuggling the drugs in a septic truck. We see that someone sets up a trap to kill Cabral and they take something from him. The truck is also hijacked by some guys. We also learn that Diaz is involved with it as well.
Fassbender is shocked and then terrified. He knows the people he got involved with are going to come after him for what has happened. He tries to find a way to get the drugs back. No one knows where they are though. While he does this he tries to find a way to get away with Cruz. He does meet with Bardem and Pitt, who both seem calm and have expected something to happen. Bardem tries to take it head on while Pitt tries to escape.
Will any of them get away before it is too late? Will Bardem realize that Diaz might have a hand in what is going on? Will the drugs be found before it is too late? Will Pitt move on like he claims he can or will he be stopped as well? Will Fassbender make it out alive and learn the error of his ways or will he be killed? Will Cruz who is caught up in something she had no part make it out or will she be killed?
I have to say that this film has a basic story and a lot of it needs to be played out to be understood. My problem is that not a whole lot happens and it is boring for the most part. It tries to build the story for a big finale, but it never gives us the payoff that it is trying to build. We see a few different types of characters working together, which does help. The ending is pretty good, but it doesn’t do enough to make this movie all that great. I do think that the acting is very good though. Fassbender is a cocky lawyer who ends up being humbled. Bardem is great and plays a character that is different from most of what he does. Cruz is great as an innocent character and I thought Pitt was fantastic as well. Diaz confused me what she was supposed to be ethic-wise, but she has a solid performance as well.
What I didn’t like is that the story is boring. The concept is good, but I was confused for most of it. I think if you are going to have a story as basic as this, there needs to be a big payoff to make it worth it. This one doesn’t have that for me. Like I stated above, Diaz confused me. I wasn’t sure what happened in this one and who set-up the plan, who was double-crossed and what happened for the most part in the end. I do think that the ending is pretty good, but what leads up to it wasn’t enough.
I included this with the horror movie research, because this is a scary concept. Getting involved in drugs is scary, but having it fall apart and knowing that dangerous people are after you was why this is being included.
I would recommend this film if you are into drug smuggling/double cross films. The acting is good, but the story falls flat. I think the concept is solid as well. There could have been more and maybe help explain what is going on. I feel director Ridley Scott wanted everyone watching to figure out what was going on, we are just not given enough. It is edited to where things are happening and we don’t know what or why. I think that slows this down and ruins it a bit. Not the worst film out there, but definitely could have been a lot better. I would say give it a viewing if you are into this type of movie. Don’t come in with high expectations though.
My Rating: 6 out of 10