There is a greatness to the badness of Ridley Scott's latest film.
It looks fabulous, as you'd expect from one of cinema's greatest visual stylists, and he ensures Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz burn up the screen with smouldering glances or sweet smiles.
However, like the beaten up truck at the heart of the drama, the script is peppered with holes.
Michael Fassbender is the eponymous protagonist drawn into a deadly world of drug runners, a vengeful mother desperate to have her son cleared on a speeding charge, and assorted colourful characters.
Many things occurred to me while watching the movie.
- I like the opening titles.
- I like Cameron Diaz's silver nails.
- I like her eye make-up, a bit like a cheetah.
- I like her cheetahs (not a euphemism).
- I like the bit of music in the third act, just before a key character is killed. I might download it from iTunes.
- I'm glad Rosie Perez was given such a key role.
- I like to see original deaths on screen, and this features two of the best.
- I like the fact Michael Fassbender smiles like Tom Hiddleston.
- I wish I had Fassbender's cheekbones and waistline.
- I wonder what Kevin McCloud would make of the uber elegant houses.
- I like the fact someone mentioned Grand Designs in the script.
- I wonder if that big green screen in a character's window was left there by mistake, or if it actually was just a green curtain.
I also had many dislikes with The Counsellor
- I hate the fact Fassbender was called 'Counsellor' so many times.
- I hate the fact Cormac McCarthy's script was so bad.
- I hate the fact nobody apparently realised it was such a bad script and did something about it before shooting began.
- I hate the pretentious dialogue.
- I had no idea what some characters were saying.
- I hate the poor effects when the cheetahs crossed the path of a dead body.
- I hate that one of my favourite film-makers wasted part if his life on this honking great mess.
Am I glad I saw it? Of course. In the same way that Showgirls was engagingly bad, this is a car crash of a movie, and you can't help rubbernecking.
Like Sharon Stone's interrogation in Basic Instinct, I guarantee Cameron Diaz's interaction with a car windscreen will be talked about for years to come, no doubt by Jeremy Clarkson and company on Top Gear.
Just a pity I didn't care about any of the characters, and the ending was so maddeningly frustrating.
Would I watch it again?
Probably not, but I'd rather see a gloriously trashy Scott movie like this than one which doesn't even register. More of which below.