Devils Advocate

#Film

Mon, Nov 24th, 1997 03:00 by capnasty ARTICLE

Devil’s 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 Williamson’s 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.") Williamson’s first movie was last years sleeper hit "Scream", in case you’ve been in a coma. The only remaining show was "Seven Years in Tibet", well needless to say that wasn’t even an option. So, off to another theatre to see anything.

Seeing that Bean isn’t your average "date" movie we elect Devil’s Advocate. Let’s back track to about a month and a half ago, to the first time I saw the theatrical preview for Devil’s 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 review’s have refereed to this film as "combinations of Rosemary’s 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...it’s 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 Lomax’s 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, that’s 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 it’s thought provoking scary, I like to call it a Mind Fuck. Well I suppose that it’s 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 won’t 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 it’s different, there hasn’t been a movie with a climax like this in a long time, so intense it’s heart stopping... Rick Baker’s 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 didn’t 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.

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