The Counselor’ succeeds at being predictable

Every so often Hollywood heavyweights team up for an A-list, large-budgeted and supremely hyped up film-you can count on it happening a few times a year.

Sometimes this combination turns out spectacularly, exactly how it should look on paper, with films like “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Departed” having great success. Sometimes these films with all-star casts bomb, for example “The Village” and “Alexander.” Films looking that great on paper end up in reality being hit or miss. “The Counselor” falls somewhere in the middle.

The film’s firepower is undeniable: Brad Pitt, Pen?©lope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Michael Fassbender top the bill, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and screenwriter Cormac McCarthy, famous for penning “No Country for Old Men” and “The Road” teamed up with three-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, to create this visually stunning film.

Despite the talented lineup in front of and behind the camera, there was an apparent lack of chemistry on screen, perhaps a disconnect between the writing and the acting.

One of the biggest problems with “The Counselor” is that it is predictable. It follows a recently engaged lawyer, who simply goes by Counselor (Fassbender), as he greedily enters the drug smuggling business to make some more cash for himself and his soon to be wife, Laura (Cruz).

Inevitably, a problem occurs with one of the shipments and the buyer wants to pin all the blame on the Counselor, putting him and Laura in great danger from a ruthless cartel. This series of events is far from original.

The plot isn’t the only part about “The Counselor” that felt predictable. Decadence and indulgence are often the undertones of these Hollywood crime-thrillers, and this film was no different. Fast and expensive cars, beautiful women, private jets and palace-like homes run rampant in “The Counselor,” a stark contrast to the reality of the drug world where extreme poverty is more likely to be the case.

Even with these drawbacks, “The Counselor” will likely please some as the action sequences are formidable and the cinematic quality of art is top notch. But save a trip to the theater, just wait until it is available free on demand.

Brett Montana can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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