Without having seen a trailer for this movie nor read any prior reviews, I entered the theater with eyes wide opened waiting for 90 minutes of hopeful pleasure. With a cast of Hollywood A-listers ripely picked for these roles, I couldn’t imagine who was going to be selected for supporting and lead nominations. With Penélope Cruz, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Michael Fassbender as driving forces in a $20 million drug deal gone sour, they managed to make a noir film sexy and glamorous. Well, the fashion was at least glamorous.
The Counselor, written by Cormac McCarthy, and directed by Ridley Scott, gently teased the viewer and set the stage with a nameless lawyer (Fassbender) pleasing his soon-to-be fiancée (Cruz). Their dialogue was that of two young adults trying to navigate their way in a bedroom like amateurs learning the sexual ropes. Quick screen change to the desert, where Reiner (Javier Bardem) and Malkina (Cameron Diaz) watched a pair of pet cheetahs hunt while drinking martinis. If excess and luxury are the nature of the game, then The Counselor has lured you in. As any typical plot of a drug deal gone bad, the movie maintains your interest with sex and fashion, beautiful cars and homes and gratuitous scenes such as Diaz performing a split, sans underwear, atop Reiner’s yellow sportcar, and bringing herself to orgasmic heights.
There’s a tremendous amount of dialogue that carries you throughout the movie while waiting for the next scene to shepherd you to the end. And for reasons never explained, the Counselor has decided to enter into a drug deal with Reiner. It’s briefly touched on that he works as a public defender, but his need to move the large amount of cocaine or how he aligned himself with the cartel is left to our imaginations. Unfortunately, too many of the details require the viewer to creatively piece the movie together.
If you’re looking for a Netflix movie to share with your partner while winding down for the evening, then this is one worth putting in the queue.