Devils Advocate (1997) Review

Every now and then it’s nice to dust off an old DVD and rekindle the feelings that made you put your hand in your pocket and fork over hard cash to add it to your collection. Devil’s Advocate had sat there for a long time unwatched but I still remember going to the cinema to see it and being fascinated by this visually beautiful, shocking and inspiring thriller. So out it came for another viewing.

First of all the cast, well what can you say, Al Pacino brings something special to any film but in this case playing the most unusual depiction of the Devil he excels. Once or twice the character descends into fiery monologue that is just a bit too over the top but I can happily set that aside. Charlize Theron plays country girl goes bonkers, and does a blindingly good job of it. I’m now convinced she’s mad as a hatter in real life as well. Finally, Keanu Reeves, normally plays one dimensional characters but manages to play out this characters journey of discovery quite well as the arrogant unbeatable lawyer.

So what’s it all about then, just another Devil taking over the world film just like all the others? Definitely not, although the usual plot elements are there in this version the Devil isn’t possessing people or calling on Demons to do his bidding, it’s much more subtle. He has no ability to influence people directly but must instead rely on free will to get his outcomes and uses greed and vanity to his advantage. This leads to an intricate story with plenty of revelations, a final epiphany for Reeves character and of course a final twist that is more thought provoking than shocking.

Lomax (Reeves) is a small town Florida lawyer with an unbeaten record recruited into a big time Manhattan law firm. He’s quickly involved in high profile cases and consumed by the world of power and wealth he’s drawn into. Everything else in his life becomes irrelevant next to his desire and greed. Of course the Devil (Pacino) provides everything Lomax needs to ensure Lomax falls deeper into his web.

Ultimately this is a sexy, complex, thrilling film and was well worth adding to my collection. I will have to make sure I don’t leave it so long before dusting off the cobwebs to watch it again.

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