Thursday, October 31, 2013

Movies: The Counselor

(Drivebycuriosity) - A pact with the devil comes with high rewards, but the price is way too high. The mundane version of this is a business connection with the Mexican drug cartels. Many movies dealt with this vicious topic, for instance Oliver Stones`"Savages". "The Counselor", which is now running in US cinema theaters, is the newest incarnation of this genre (imdb).

Director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Cormac McCarthy tell the story of an attorney, the nameless counselor, who does business with the cartel, neglecting warnings about their viciousness. Soon things go awry and the counselor and other people are sliding into a deep mess.

Typically for this genre "The Counselor" is violent and sometimes enthralling. The plot (if you are in spoilers you can find a synopsis here wikipedia) leaves a lot of questions open, but the weaknesses are made up by fascinating dialogues. There are a lot of smart & philosophical lines, spiced with a bit kinkiness. The movie comes with some very cynical messages. Like them or not, you have at least to think about them.

I also enjoyed Dariusz Wolski`s cinematography, especially the contrast between the rough Wild West like scenery north and south of the Mexican border and some posh places in the civilization of the cities. 
But he main strength of the movie comes from a collection of interesting characters played by actors who belong to Hollywood`s cream.

Cameron Diaz had a memorable appearance as a delicious, but kinky and hyper-emancipated woman. (Btw. the 2 Cheetahs she went hunting with were gorgeous).
Javier Bardem delivered another awesome performance, this time with a philosophical funniness.
Michael Fassbender, as the "counselor", showed why he is one of the rising stars on Hollywood´s firmament. In this role he convincingly blended coolness with tragic.
The chameleon-like Brad Pitt extended his long line of remarkable supporting actor roles as wiseass crook.
Unfortunately, super-star No. 5, Penélope Cruz,  was a bit neglected by  the script.

Résumé: Ridley Scott again couldn't ´t catch up to his strokes of genius he had in the 1980s (Blade Runner & Alien) but the director served another passable piece. "The Counselor" can at least beat the average of the action thrillers these days.

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