The Counselor is a crime thriller with a great cast including Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The film is directed and co-produced by Ridley Scott who will dedicate the film in memory of his brother Tony Scott. The screenplay was written by Cormac McCarthy who is also known for novels like The Road and No Country For Old Men, both of which were adapted and made into successful films.
A teaser trailer has appeared online that is interesting yet rather vague as no plot details are revealed. Teasers often give the viewer just a hint of what the movie is about so this is not surprising. The basic plot concerns Michael Fassbender who plays a lawyer who becomes a drug trafficker for some reason, he inevitably gets in over his head with nasty gangsters and endangers his own life. The film appears to be a morality tale about the dangers of greed and giving into temptation.
There are some nice hints of action in the trailer which is brief with just a forty-three second running time. Brad Pitt’s character Westray warns Counselor (Michael Fassbender) that the criminals he is dealing with are capable of anything. The viewer can probably expect lots of plot twists and turns as Counselor tries to deal with volatile crooks. He will have to walk a tightrope to stay alive and it will be fun to find out why he is doing it. The main characters are all depicted as rich people with lavish lifestyles, they lounge around with a pet Cheetah standing like a sentinel next to them. Cameron Diaz is also shown climbing on the bonnet of a yellow car in a leopard print dress, is she merely a trophy like the big cat? Not much is revealed about the characters played by Cameron Diaz and Penélope Cruz at this stage. The cast is outstanding and Fassbender is like the postman as he always delivers the goods.
A character is seen riding on a motorbike through El Paso, Texas which gives some clues as to the geographical setting of the film. A mystery man then lays a trip wire across the narrow road at waist level. The unwitting rider gets caught on the tripwire and this is the first peek at some of the violence in the film. A car then explodes and later in the trailer it looks like a fight breaks out between Westray and Reiner (Javier Bardem). The West Texan setting is similar to the one used in No Country For Old Men and that film also had Javier Bardem in a great role. No Country For Old Men also had some narrative similarities as it dealt with a regular guy who makes a few bad decisions and is then exposed to criminals. The West Texan locale is unique and always interesting, a man could easily be killed and disappeared in the desert there and this knowledge adds tension when criminals are also thrown into the plot. The landscape is also barren and unforgiving which adds even more atmosphere.
The teaser is intriguing and provokes the imagination as the viewer tries to figure out the relationships between the characters. The lack of plot details in a teaser is a good thing as too often a full trailer is released that ruins a whole movie. It is understandable for a studio to make a trailer interesting by filling it with lots of information but sometimes they go too far.
Ridley Scott has directed crime thrillers in the past like Black Rain with Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia. The two leads played American cops who were fish out of water in an unfamiliar environment. This seems similar to the situation Counselor finds himself in, he will no doubt come into conflict with his crooked friends somehow which will result in drama and violence. That is the way things often pan out in films like this and the plot becomes a cautionary tale. The cinematographer Dariusz Wolski is also involved with the project and that is a bonus, the man has done great work in films like Dark City, The Crow and Prometheus.
Eager fans will be able to watch the film when it is released on November 15th. Check out the trailer and share your thoughts.