The Counselor is a confusing clusterfuck of a movie. While I’m going to follow that sentence up with several others, that’s honestly all you really need to know about this movie. Despite starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem,Brad Pitt andPenelope Cruz, it’s one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year. How they possibly convinced all these actors to sign on for this makes no sense. All I can figure is that they told each of the actors that they were making completely different movies, then they mashed them all together and were like, “wah lah! We shall call it The Counselor.”
For example, someone told Cameron Diaz she would be starring in a Lifetime movie about a vengeful woman who marries rich men and then kills them for their money. (Also that she could use Joe Pesci’s gold tooth from Home Alone.) Javier Bardem was told he was starring as “the before” in a commercial for a new hair product and Brad Pitt was told that he would be starring in a comedy about a hot guy who gets stuck in his creepy uncle’s body. Sound confusing? I know! Imagine sitting through this mess for two hours. No, don’t imagine. I’m going to spoil it for your right here and right now. And yes there’s a spoiler in the title, but guess what, I did that for you. Save $10 this weekend and DO ANYTHING ELSE. Yell at me in the comments, I don’t care. I’m like your Mom right now and I’m essentially grounding you because I care about you.
So let’s get to this.
Michael Fassbender’s a counselor. We know this because he’s ONLY referred to as “Counselor” in the movie. To the point that his character doesn’t even have another name.
It’s all “hey Counselor” and “do you know what you’re getting into Counselor?” and “Counselor, don’t get into this.” I’d almost suggest that you play a drinking game where you take a shot every time someone says “counselor,” but then I fear I’d be liable for your death. So Counselor is in love with Laura (Penelope Cruz). We know that that he’s in love with her because we get to watch him finger bang her in the first scene of the movie. I hate the phrase finger bang, but that’s the first thing that popped into my head when I watched it. He then travels to Amsterdam to buy her an extremely expensive engagment ring. So he’s either very rich or very unaware that there’s a Jared’s in his local mall. Then he hangs out with Reiner (Javier Bardem and Javier Bardem’s Great Wall of Hair) who implies that he and The Counselor are about to get involved in some very illegal business. Also I should tell you that Reiner’s head over heels for his girlfriend, Malkina (Cameron Diaz). Even though, twist, Malkina’s just playing him to get her hands on a bunch of drugs.
Want another twist that will haunt your nightmares? Okay, There’s a scene in the middle of this whole mess where Reiner tells Counselor about the time Malkina had sex with his windshield and made him watch from the passenger seat. “It was like watching a catfish,” he says as we watch a flashback of it happening. “Why did you tell me that story,” the Counselor asks on behalf of the audience. “I don’t know,” says Reiner. And tell you what, we never know. An hour after that story the movie ends and we still don’t know why we had to SEE it. But sorry, back to the other part of the movie that makes no sense.
Westray (Brad Pitt) also works with Reiner. But not. He’s a lone ranger in the illegal drug trade biz. But not, because he does work with Reiner. And no that job description isn’t me falling asleep while typing, that’s exactly what it is. They’re somehow getting Counselor involved in this shipment that entails transporting 20 million dollars of drugs from Mexico to Chicago. How he’s involved is never made clear. Why he’s risking getting involved is also something that’s never made clear. What is made clear is that when something goes wrong with the drug deal, he’s the one in trouble for it.
At this point, I guess we’re supposed to be worried for Counselor because he’s in a lot of trouble with a whole lot of murderous men. But since we never know how or why he’s involved or actually ANYTHING else about him, we don’t care. Kill him, don’t kill him, I’ll still be able to sleep at night. But I know, you’re probably wondering what’s wrong with the drug deal. Okay, I’ll tell you.
Malkina (remember, this is Cameron Diaz) hijacked Reiner’s shipment and stole it from him. Which wasn’t too hard considering that the twenty million dollars of drugs were sitting in a parked truck overnight. Then Malkina has new hijackers kill her old hijackers. For um, let me see, no reason. I guess suspense because we’re not supposed to know Malkina’s in control the whole time and we’re supposed to be stressed trying to figure out how this drug deal keeps going wrong. But when we find out that Malkina was behind it from the beginning, it makes zero sense that she kept sabotaging her own operation. It would be like if you watched all of Oceans 11 and then found out that Andy Garcia fucked over his own casino. I think, I don’t know. I honestly can’t think of a good comparison for this movie. I mean, besides calling it bad. You know “bad” right? Well, that’s this movie.