“More Novel Than Movie”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

The Counselor has so much going for it that you would think it has to be a successful movie, right?

The Counselor


First of all, it stars Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, and Rosie Perez, and of all the lineups of acclaimed stars in acclaimed movies, this is definitely one of them.

Second of all, it was directed by Ridley Scott, and of all the acclaimed directors who have won awards for their movies, he is definitely another one of them.

And third of all, it was written by Cormac McCarthy, who is an acclaimed novelist with many of his novels having been made into acclaimed movies, and of all the great screenwriters in the history of movies, he is a pretty good novelist.

This movie has three other things in it that are worthy of mention: a graphic sex scene, a graphic murder scene, and many scenes of too much talking and not enough action.

The sex scene involves a woman, a fancy car, and a man sitting in the front seat of the car watching, but it is more laughable than erotic.

The murder scene comes in an unexpected location, it involves an unusual device, but takes so long and shows such agony and pain and so much blood that it is more disgusting than effective.

And the scenes of too much talking that are also more philosophical than descriptive would be better read in a novel than heard in a movie. They sound as if they had been written by an acclaimed novelist instead of an acclaimed screenwriter.

Wait a minute! They were!

Anyway, here is the story. A successful attorney in El Paso, Texas, with a busy practice, a beautiful girlfriend, and an expensive car wants more, and so he gets involved in the illegal trafficking of drugs from Mexico into the U.S.

He meets with the necessary contacts he needs in order to arrange for a deal that involves $20 million of drugs to be shipped across the border on its way to Chicago, but as usually happens in the movies, something goes wrong.

Terribly wrong, disastrously wrong, and murderously wrong.

As a matter of fact, those are the very words that could be used to describe this movie.

The Counselor, as a movie, is a spectacular novel.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”