When we all saw the trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, everyone was intrigued by the star-studded Oscar-worthy cast, but as out mothers always told us, never judge a movie by it’s trailer. Everyone who thought the trailer looked cool and were lured in by the cast actually ended up seeing an overwritten, wordy film that makes you wonder if the trailer we all saw was for a different movie.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some great scenes of acting in the film and Michael Fassbender is always fun to watch, as is the rest of the cast. Even on their worst day, the cast of The Counselor are better than half the remakes, reboots and sequels churned out today. But at he same time, that’s what’s so disappointing about the film — it’s false advertising it’s finest.
The quick cutting, hard hitting trailer suggests that this is going to be a wild ride through some seedy underworld dominated by A-list actors chewing on scenes. But they chew so hard that it tips over the fine line between amazing and pretentious and becomes tedious and boring.
There are few people that can write wordy dialogue in Hollywood and unfortunately, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy doesn’t do good of selling us that he’s one of those people with his first screenplay. He’s a masterful author which again is why it’s so hard to swallow that he wrote The Counselor, the same goes for Ridley Scott’s direction.
All of this circles back to false advertising as when you hear that a legend like Scott is teaming with McCarthy to make a movie starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem and others, you don’t expect what The Counselor ends up being.
It’s not that the film flies over anyone’s head with it’s dialogue, there’s just too much of it. When Cormac McCarthy is being mistaken for a Quentin Tarantino wannabe, you have a problem. Sadly, the wordiness of The Counselor forces it into the realm of pretension and instead of being an Oscar juggernaut, The Counselor is a massive disappointment.