But McCarthy and Scott are not interested in pandering to a normal audience remove—they want to plunge us face first into the filthy mire of a morally absent world order in which we all are complicit, even on an unknowing level. Characters are vessels for an inconvenient truth in this grimmest of fairy tales. The price of unchecked greed is never-ending grief. In context, they often flow and elucidate clearly the themes and motivations of story and character. The dialogue is no more impenetrable than that of David Mamet or Aaron Sorkin.

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McCarthy is near the top of my list of favorite authors. The film already had hype with McCarthy and Scott, but the cast put it among the most highly anticipated films of Brad Pitt. Cameron Diaz. Javier Bardem. Penelope Cruz. Michael Fassbender. The problem with The Counselor , though, is that it has many of the same attributes that make Blood Meridian a tough candidate for film. Only a few bits from the original screenplay were cut. This is all not to say that the screenplay is not interesting.

It has many of the McCarthy signatures—dark themes, moral depravity, graphic violence. In this case, the Counselor of the title engages in a one-time drug deal with the cartels in an attempt to make a quick buck. When the deal goes sideways, everyone involved is in grave danger. McCarthy even employs an inventive weapon again. It has this small electric motor with this rather incredible compound gear that retrieves a small cable.

The Counselor starts the gears in motion with his one decision to engage, and the machinery of the cartel—the people who know people who know people who will pay people to find people and kill people…it just tightens automatically.

For McCarthy, it is just his latest form of faceless, impending doom. He has often played with the theme of fate the coin flip in No Country , the coiner in All the Pretty Horses. Here it is fate set in motion by a simple decision. Again, Reiner to the Counselor:. This is a book about decisions, about greed, about not heeding the warnings. It is a world where fate is turned upside down, where karma works backwards.

There is one act of goodness in this story. It is exactly the act that sets the whole machine in motion for the Counselor. This story is not without intriguing pieces, but it lacks some of the key elements that made No Country so good. Most notably, likable characters. In No Country, we rooted for Llewelyn Moss, admired the wisdom and goodness of Ed Tom, and were terrified by Chigurh, a fantastic villain. In The Counselor, we have none of that. The villain is faceless and there are no likable heroes.

McCarthy rarely does happy endings, but there is a glimmer of hope even in the darkness of Blood Meridian. Here we just get blood. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Create a website or blog at WordPress. Disco Demolition Night. Home Lists Shorts About.

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McCarthy is near the top of my list of favorite authors. The film already had hype with McCarthy and Scott, but the cast put it among the most highly anticipated films of Brad Pitt. Cameron Diaz. Javier Bardem.


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