Written by John Edward Betancourt
We all work hard toward perfection in some form or fashion. Be it in our hobbies, the sports we play or our careers, we are always working toward that moment when everything comes together and is truly everything we could have envisioned or hoped for.
Perfection is rare, but has been known to happen, but what if perfection was achieved over and over again? Would it mean that we have become a master of that which we work to achieve, or are there other forces at work? Both of those questions are answered in a unique and creative way in the horror film, Devil's Advocate.
Kevin Lomax is a lawyer who simply cannot lose. Doesn't matter whether or not his client committed the crime, or whether or not defending said person should force him to reflect upon his conscience, he wins case after case. In fact he is so good, he has attracted the attention of a high powered law firm in New York City, led by the mysterious John Milton. Milton wants Kevin to work for his firm and Kevin obliges so that his star can continue to shine. But Kevin will quickly learn that this firm is not all that it seems and unfortunately he has made a deal...with the actual devil.
Devil's Advocate is a fascinating film on so many levels because for one thing, it's a surprise horror film. But we will take a little time to talk about that later because the first thing that completely catches your eye about this particular film, is that it is loaded with some incredible names and amazing performances.
Al Pacino is as good as ever in this flick, doing a great job of making John Milton seem cool and suave to stay in line with the films constant twists and turns when Pacino turns on the acting chops in the last twenty minutes of the film in amazing fashion when he reveals his true identity as the Prince of Darkness. In fact really, he's the big draw to this film along with the surprise and horrible things that happen along the way, but Pacino is anchored by some quality performances. Keanu Reeves holds his own as the level headed Kevin Lomax, and you feel for him as the film progresses as you begin to realize as well that something is amiss and this poor kid is nothing more than a pawn. Charlize Theron steals the scenes she appears in as well, especially with her downward spiral into madness and unfortunate end in the film.
Now as I mentioned before, this is a surprise horror film and that's what makes it so fascinating to watch because this film plays you like a fiddle. You honestly believe at first that this is a morality tale of a lawyer who has lost his way and appears to be joining up with a firm that looks like the perfect job and perfect place to work, but ends up being as sleazy a place as they come. That is until the first demon shows up and then...well, it's a dark tale revolving around sin, free will and the Book of Revelation and quite frankly, how our quest to be perfect in everything we do may indeed be our biggest downfall.
Fact is, it's a damn good movie and one that you have to watch several times to catch all the many layers that it has to offer. I only recently saw this again after seeing it when it was released and it surprised the hell out of me with how well it's held up and how smart and terrifying it really is. Catch it again if you get the chance, you won't be disappointed.