“The Counselor” Delivers a Halloween Trick, Not Treat

As much as I dislike giving bad reviews, sometimes someone earns it with such fervor that I must comply.  Few films reviewed by me since the early 1980’s miss the mark on as many levels as “The Counselor.”  Bottom line:  don’t pay money to see this.  When it’s available for free, don’t waste two hours on it.  Okay, that’s cruel, but “Yikes!”

 

The trailer failed to hint at what the film delivered.  Perhaps they were going for farce, in which case they did fine.  If they were aspiring to reach Tarantino-dom, Quentin has little to fear.

 

The great cast list sucked us in, and, to their credit, the actors did the best anyone could do with this over-articulated, unresolved script and storyline.  Hearing some of these characters “waxing poetic” sounded ludicrous to say the least, yet their diatribes go on and on and on, making the film feel painfully longer than it’s one-hour-and-fifty-one-minute running time.  An audience needs to be able to care about characters before they’ll care about their convoluted philosophies.

 

Lots of holes and continuity issues abound in the deliberately disjointed story line.  Contrived and illogical choices by characters simply add to the pretentiousness of this loose character study surrounding an attorney’s foray into a deal with Mexican drug cartels.

 

That said, “The Counselor” kept us talking for a long while.  We could even see some scenarios for a sequel that could actually tie in many of the dangling story lines and characters.  However, everyone in our group agreed that they would not bother seeing a sequel, even if it promised resolution.

 

Overall, the film doesn’t work for me on lots of levels, including bad screenplay, ridiculous dialogue, morbid sexual undertones, crazy continuity issues, weak segues, predictable twists, gratuitous violence,  and underdeveloped characters.

 

The best thing I found in “The Counselor” surprises me, since I am not a fan of tattoos.  Regardless, the leopard tattoos sported by the Cameron Diaz character totally rocked.

 

Just because I didn’t care at all for “The Counselor” does not mean you shouldn’t see it.  However, when you come out disappointed, at least you were warned.  It will not add one thing that helps us strive for Good Living.  Go to “Captain Phillips,” “Thor,” “Last Vegas,” “Rush,” even “Chance of Raining Meatballs 2.”  Choose ANYTHING else.  Give me something with action, substance, or good humor… please.

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 16 books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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