The Devil's Advocate (1997)

reviewed by
Michael Redman

Devil's Advocate
A Film Review By Michael Redman
Copyright 1997 By Michael Redman
*** (Out of ****)

Al Pacino is one actor that usually looks as if he is enjoying his job. His over-the-top performances are a joy to behold and this one is about as hot as they get. Think Scent Of A Woman meets Rosemary's Baby.

Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) is a southern lawyer who just can't lose a case. Recruited by big city lawyer John Milton (Pacino in a not very subtly named role) for his law firm, Lomax is unaware that he is in for the ride of his life.

Everyone who's seen the previews knows that Milton is actually old Scratch himself and out to seduce the young idealistic attorney over to the dark side. And the wrong path has never looked so inviting. Satan lives the good life rolling in the dough in a penthouse apartment with a gorgeous babe on each arm.

Until the finale, the special effects are kept to a minimum, but well used. People change to demons out of the corner of your eye for just a second. Other scenes drip with evil and sex which is one of the aspects that made me a bit uneasy. Sex, voodoo and Asian ways are connected with the Devil throughout the film equating them through guilt by association. Of course The Archfiend as a lawyer is an easy metaphor, as unfair as it might be.

Although Reeves can't hold a candle to Pacino, he doesn't come off badly. In fact, this may be the first film that he demonstrates any acting ability. It must be that proverbial cold day down below.

[This appeared in the 11/20/97 "Bloomington Voice", Bloomington, Indiana]

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