Rated R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language.
Written By: Jonathan Lemkin
Directed By: Taylor Hackford
Staring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Connie Nielson, Heather Matarzarro, and James Saitio
Why not? I’m here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I’ve nurtured every sensation man’s been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I’m a fan of man! I’m a humanist. Maybe the last humanist. -John Milton
The Devils Advocate is not Rosemary’s Baby, nor is it trying to be. It conquers a dark topic with the attitude of Milton himself. He is a humorist reveling in his power, yet has a deep acknowledgment of his wickedness. There is no question this film has a very powerful feel about it. With an amazing set design and clever script, a thriving cast speaking elegant dialogue, The Devils Advocate was one of the most fun movies to get caught up in during 1997. With incredible design that featured a rooftop garden and waterfall that seemed to stop yet continue on, to the scenes with a fire purposely set behind Pacino, to Milton’s vast office; everything was stunning to look at.
Kevin and Mary Ann Lomax are the most adorable set of Southern Newlyweds. Kevin being a successful lawyer that seems to have a knack for picking the right jury is approached by some big shots from Manhattan to leave his small time position to work for their enormous conglomerate. His wife Mary Ann is just about the most infectious and beautiful blonde wife who couldn’t be more supportive of her husbands success. When Kevin signs the papers to a brand new beautiful Co-Op and his contract with the CEO, John Milton, he doesn’t realize he’s sold much more than his time and dedication.
The allusions to Milton’s “identity” are all a lot of fun, even though you kind of get the idea of who and what he is from the title, and since this isn’t a newer movie, word of mouth gets around. Nonetheless, it’s still a good time to search for the subtle clues available to your new and fresh viewer.
The imagery of Charlize Theron from bright, beautiful and a ray of pure light that transforms into this miserable, darkness, contorted being as the only one who saw and resisted the evil for what it was, was truly remarkable to view. The empathy her character evokes is the where the film changes from a dark melodrama into something a lot deeper to engage in.
Keanu Reeves has lasted as a pretty successful actor for a long time in the business because he chooses his roles wisely. (Mostly) The role as Kevin Lomax offered him the opportunity to perform as the straight guy, without any real necessary overdoing it. Some of his surfer mantra actually played to his advantage as the overly ambitious, yet naive Lomax. Coupled against him was the brilliantly cast Al Pacino. Pacino as Milton in this film was not out just to seduce Lomax, he was out to seduce anyone who was watching the movie, and on this end, he was very successful. As far as glorified hedonists go Milton is the best example I can think of. He takes what he wants, does as he pleases, and makes no apologies for it. In fact he enjoys rubbing his grandeur in the proverbial face of the system and those that oppose him. His mockery is another aspect of his character that is so intriguing, because despite his bombastic ego, no one has stopped him.
This escapade into the world of devilry and lawyering rolled together as one pokes it’s fun quickly and gently and delves right into the sadistic darkness of evil. This movie goes beyond enjoyable and gets recommended as a necessary purchase. Al Pacino performs some of the most fun character work in many years, with a script full of ingenuity and visuals to drown your eyes in, this is an amazing and entertaining drama.