I had my doubts about Devil’s Advocate when I went to see it. Usually, I clear my head of doubts (or any other biases) before going into see a movie. It was a hard thing to do when the thought of Keanu Reeves playing a big shot lawyer came to mind. I’m happy to say that I stepped out of the theatre without a doubt that Devil’s Advocate is, so far, one of the best films of this fall.
Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) is a small-time lawyer in Florida. But, he’s a good lawyer, never losing any of his sixty-some odd cases. He’s so good that a big time law firm in New York, headed by John Milton (Al Pacino) wants his services. The story follows Lomax and his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) as they make the move from their little town in Florida to New York, where Milton puts them in a very nice apartment and showers them with money. But, what for?
Devil’s Advocate’s twist on the story is that Milton is really the human incarnation of Satan himself. And logically, Satan would be a lawyer. This twist is easy to believe, and it was not hard to suspend my disbelief when this was revealed. Devil’s Advocate is a large chunk of character study, of both Lomax and Milton. It has a bit of supernatural horror thrown in for zest.
Reeves performs admirably, and he, at least in my mind, redeems himself for his terrible performance in Chain Reaction. It was a bit hard at the beginning to believe that Ted from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure could be a lawyer, but it does work out after a while.
Charlize Theron is perfect as Lomax’s wife, Mary Ann. She plays the sexy wife as a lonely woman who sees early on that the law firm and Milton are not what they seem. She literally goes insane because Lomax starts to work too hard for the firm. Mary Ann is a volnerable character and with Lomax at work all the time, Mary Ann begins to spend more time with some of the other wives of lawyers at the firm. She begins to see the true selves of these women and this drives her insane.
But, the real show stealer is Al Pacino as John Milton. Pacino is way over the top with his performance and it is this that makes Devil’s Advocate such a joy to watch. His performance, especially at the climax of the film, is just dripping evil but still at the same time fun. Pacino has played many parts in his life, and I’ve seen a few, and this one is on the top of my list to see.
Taylor Hackford (Dolores Claiborne) does very well as the director of Devil’s Advocate, mixing real life with the supernatural, and never going past the point of driving the audience into disbelief.
Devil’s Advocate is a definite Must See Movie that you shouldn’t miss in the theatres. The film is an all around winner, but if anything, see the film for Pacino’s excellent performance as the Devil himself.
“Call me dad.” - John Milton.
Edited by Cher Johnson.