Investigation conducted by Eddie on 15/11/2013
With the critical, box office and audience reception failure of The Counselor it feels right to look into just what or who made this film just so downright bad.
Whilst a films failure should never be pointed solely at one person there can however be an analysis of the people involved in the project and the elements of the film that worked against it. Delving into the dark abyss of this film is no easy task so without further ado I put on my detective cap and look to address and discover a reason we can hold onto as to why this film is the film it is.
Suspect 1 – The Director
Poor old Ridley Scott, the man who has given us such cinematic treasures like Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator has had a rough trot over the last decade or so. One feels that Scott has lost some of his passion and originality when it comes to filmmaking and it shows like never before in this film.
Scenes are directed blandly and actors allowed to over act under his watch which is made all the worse by seemingly countless opportunities to spice up proceedings with a little flair or enthusiasm. Scott’s direction here could be summed up simply as plain boring.
Suspect 2 – The Screenwriter
I can proudly say that McCarthy is one of my personal favourite writers, a man that wowed me with such books as The Road and the seriously awesome and just waiting to be filmed Blood Meridian. I cannot so proudly say however that McCarthy’s first written for screen story is a meandering mess.
It’s abundantly clear that McCarthy paid no attention to conforming to a normal script writing process which is fine if it weren’t so off putting in a final product. The script comes to life on screen in a mess of scene after scene of cringe worthy dialogue filled with hatred towards women, awkward fish references and metaphors that never once don’t feel forced. McCarthy’s script therefore is an unquestionable failure.
Suspect 3 – The Cast
Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz
An actor is only as good as the material they are presented with so it would be harsh to criticise The Counselor’s top notch cast to much. Pitt and Fassbender escape the picture with the most amount of dignity while real life couple Bardem and Cruz are merely okay in their somewhat limited roles. Which leaves us with one principal cast member in the form of the ever plastic looking Cameron Diaz.
Miss Diaz reaches a career low point here in her role as the feisty and smart Malkina and again while an actor is only as good as their material Diaz’s overplaying and show-boating turn gives cringe worthy a new meaning.
Suspect 4 – You
Perhaps it is we the cinema going audience that are just too darn dumb to get the whole picture here. Maybe all involved are sitting back laughing at us mere mortals who can’t quite understand why we are listening to catfish references or watching Michael Fassbender dribble into his beard.
One day perhaps the mysteries of The Counselor will be unlocked and it will become “cool” to like the film and McCarthy’s script will be hailed as pure unbridled genius!
Suspect 5 – Javier Bardem’s wardrobe
Bad shirts and tight pants
As much as it would be grand to blame the entire film on Bardem’s clothing and creepy fake tan it would also feel like to much of a cop out. I really do just want to point out though – look at how bad this man is dressed! Not something to show the grand kids that’s for sure.
I must repeat my earlier statement that a films failings cannot be solely pointed at one person or element. Having said this however in regards to The Counselor the majority of blame must fall upon, drum roll please ……..
The film which undoubtedly could of benefited from some more complete direction by Scott is really built upon McCarthy’s prose of sin and life so therefore was cursed from the beginning when McCarthy’s script was allowed to gestate into the filmed product. With clunky unbelievable dialogue, unlikeable characters and a conclusion that will prove much more bewildering than No Country for Old Men, I think we have discovered the main culprit for this Razzie baiting turkey.
What did you think of The Counselor? Is it misunderstood genius or is someone else other that poor old Cormac to blame for its lameness? Let us know in the comments below!
- The Counsellor: Cormac and the camera (independent.co.uk)
- ‘The Counselor’ Review: 10 Things to Know About the Cormac McCarthy Thriller (art3867.wordpress.com)
- The Counsellor, review (telegraph.co.uk)