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Jonathan Robbins’s “Review: The Counselor” Is Delightfully Demeaning

In response to Jonathan Robbins’s 555‑word review of The Counselor on Film Comment Magazine 

http://www.filmcomment.com/entry/review-the-counselor-michael-fassbender-brad-pitt-javier-bardem

By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic

In Jonathan Robbins’s “Review: The Counselor”, the author creates a work of art that is as dynamic as it is absolute. Conclusive admonishment and witty reparte go hand in hand in this suprisingly engaging piece.

If the true mark of genius is something that can be admired long after it is release, this is Robbins’s “Picasso”. But unlike Picasso’s offerings that were not appreciated until years afterwards, this work is sure to garner praise almost immediately. The fluidity with which he moves from stark critique one minute, to jovial tongue-in-cheek sarcasm the next entraps the soul and captures the imagination. Readers will be hard-pressed to find a similar work to compare this to… that is if they can suppress their bias (Review: The sets the bar rather high).

However, even genius is not above making mistakes from time to time. Case in point: the last line. It’s usually not wise to contradict an entire argument in your conclusion. Luckily, the tone Robbins established leading in, combined with the “give credit where it’s due” phrasing, make this blunder largely forgivable.

Audiences should relish the opportunity to read such an invoking soliloquy. Solid consensus is hard to come by, especially when aiming to amuse and admonish simultaneously. It’s a dying art form to be sure, and few authors truly understand the craft. It’s fortunate indeed to have someone like Robbins who does.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation

Rochus Pomponius joins the Existimatum staff after a celebrated career as a court jester and the personal entertainer of Emperor Trajan. His studies in rhetoric inform his assessments.