Devils Advocate, not my first choice of movie to see on a weekend where big name films such as Bean, and I Know What You Did Last Summer opened. In fact, I was in line to see Kevin Williamsons sophomore big screen creation, I know..., when the final show of the evening sold out. (Welcome to the world of Cineplex, "Sure we have 17 screens, but they only hold 4 people each.") Williamsons first movie was last years sleeper hit "Scream", in case youve been in a coma. The only remaining show was "Seven Years in Tibet", well needless to say that wasnt even an option. So, off to another theatre to see anything.
Seeing that Bean isnt your average "date" movie we elect Devils Advocate. Lets back track to about a month and a half ago, to the first time I saw the theatrical preview for Devils Advocate. (Here is my thought process while watching the trailer): "Hmmm...Al Pacino, fuggetabout it!...Keanu Reeves, bearable (bearly)... Lawyer movie, yawn... Satan?!?, get outta here!"
Needless to say, thanks to the trailer I went in with low expectations, which is good. Whoever put together the previews of this film did it no justice. It portrayed the story in an entirely different light than the film is actually shown. The preview is full of fire and brimstone, the movie (with the exception of the climax) is not.
Other reviews have refereed to this film as "combinations of Rosemarys Baby & Wall Street and The Firm & Angel Heart, in actuality director Taylor Hackford has created a film that is an entity unto itself."
There are so many good things I can say about this film. Even Keanu Reeves (Kevin Lomax) is impressive...its his best performance since, well since he started to act. And when an actor can look impressive when playing the protagonist opposite an Al Pacino (John Milton) antagonist, everyone should be impressed. Perhaps the most surprising performance though, is that of Charlize Theron (Two Days In the Valley). Subject to the mind games of The Prince of Darkness himself, her decent into insanity as Lomaxs wife is gripping and eerie, much like the action of the entire film.
Lomax is an undefeated lawyer in Gainesville, Florida; Milton is the president of Milton, Chadwick, and Waters, a big time New York law firm that invites Lomax to work in the big city. When Mr. & Mrs. Lomax accept, thats when the fun begins. This movie is truly scary. Not jump-out-of-your-seat-because-there-is-creepy-music-on-and-a-cat-just-leaped-out-at-you-scary. But its thought provoking scary, I like to call it a Mind Fuck. Well I suppose that its not surprising that Satan can fuck with your mind unlike anyone else.
I hate reviews that give too much of the plot away...so I wont subject you to that. What I will do is list off a few things about the movie that make it so great... first of all its different, there hasnt been a movie with a climax like this in a long time, so intense its heart stopping... Rick Bakers special effects, normally I despise the T2 computer graphic morphing, but in this film it is not over killed. Pacino, some say that he has become a parody of himself, but Al puts in his best villain performance since Scarface. I didnt puke with every word Keanu spoke, he was watchable, even enjoyable. Symbolism, cinematography, and the direction were each like there own literary devices at different points of the movie.