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Ken Hanke Offers a Lonely Dissenting Voice in “The Counselor”

In response to Ken Hanke’s 746‑word review of The Counselor on Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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Ken Hanke isn’t afraid to swim against the current and he proves it in “The Counselor.” Ridley Scott’s new film has been almost universally panned by critics for reasons too numerous to name here, but Hanke embraces his inner contrarian and it’s refreshing. Mostly.

Hanke acknowledges the criticisms and admits that he “probably” (a word that should be stricken from any critic’s vocabulary) enjoyed the movie partly because other critics hated it. This is not a valid point, but Hanke makes up for it with plenty of legitimate ones.

Where other critics were turned off by the artificial, pseudo philosophical dialogue, Hanke feel that while it “would seem improbable in real life, [it] strangely belongs in this movie.”

Others in his profession found the story convoluted, but “the truth is that the basic story is very simple.”

The writing here is fairly conventional and Hanke favors a more conversational (almost extemporaneous) tone, addressing readers directly and casually. He’s quite adept at it, so it never comes off as lazy, but some of the prose can be a bit too nonchalant and, as a result, the critiques feel slightly superficial.

All told, this one’s a worthy effort that warrants a read for its bold counterargument.    

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