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Jeff Baker Gets Dialogue-Heavy in “The Counselor”

In response to Jeff Baker’s 580‑word review of The Counselor on Oregonian 

http://www.oregonlive.com/movies/index.ssf/2013/10/the_counselor_review_how_could.html

By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic

About Jeff Baker’s “The Counselor” this much can be said: you’ve never read a review like this before. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is the question of the day and the answer is not as obvious as it may seem.

The setup goes like this: Baker uses an imaginary dialogue between a Hollywood agent and the two cheetahs (yes, the animals, like African Cheetahs) prominently featured in Ridley Scott’s new film to expound on his feelings about it.

So, is it a clever twist or a cheap trick?

Baker’s tongue is sharp and this unique premise of using the cheetahs as his ventriloquist dummies allows him to be even more vitriolic. His (er. . the Cheetahs’) critique absolutely drips with disdain, but couching the scorn in a cutesy dialogue unfortunately takes some of the sting out of it.

Still, most of the exchange is surprisingly clever and Baker manages to take it in some unexpected comedic directions even if the trick eventually wears a little thin. There’s just not enough there to warrant carrying the joke on this long.

Baker deserves (and gets) points for creativity (how many times can you write the same old review?) and trying something original. Unfortunately, the premise doesn’t live up to the promise.    

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.