David Katz Offers a Stay of Execution for “The Counsellor”
By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic
David Katz serves up one of the better reviews on the Cormac McCarthy penned thriller with “The Counsellor.” The film has been beaten to death over these last few weeks and Katz has arrived to put the final acerbic nail in the coffin.
Good lord is it fun to watch.
Katz’s caustic tone puts its heel on The Counselor’s throat and doesn’t let up for a second, lambasting it piece by bloody piece and relishing every bit of it.
At the open, Katz challenges himself with the “weirdly gratifying task figuring out exactly how it all went wrong,” and he succeeds beautifully, moving systematically through problems with the film’s script, its “camp shock value,” “ridiculous” characterizations, and “the Chinese finger trap of a plot.” It all adds up to a film that’s “a confused, violent clusterf**k, profoundly strange in a way that can only be made by very talented, but very distracted people.”
The writing is accomplished and achieves an effortless flow that only the best critics are capable of. Its tone is absolutely dripping with vitriol, but the piece never feels angry or sanctimonious because the prose expertly keeps the tone buoyant, even in the midst of all the carnage.