The Devil’s Advocate (1997)
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Based on the novel The Devil’s Advocate by Andrew Neiderman
Screenplay by Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy
Starring: Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron
When successful Florida attorney Kevin Lomax (Reeves) takes a job with a large firm in New York, it appears that he’s hit the big time. Soon, Lomax and his wife (Theron) begin to see the hidden costs of their newfound success.
This 1997 thriller mystery is based on the 1990 novel of the same name. Author Andrew Neiderman’s (Rain) novel was adapted by Jonathan Lemkin (Shooter) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy). Oscar winner Taylor Hackford (Ray) directed the film. The movie stars Al Pacino (The Insider), Keanu Reeves (John Wick), and Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road).
This is an interesting thriller mystery with a supernatural twist. Throughout the story little seeds are planted for the audience, leading to some interesting payoffs late in the story. The strength of the story is the nice transitions built into the story. As the tone of the film changes, the movie takes time to adjust the way the world of the film presents itself. The movie also has moments of very sharp dialogue. The dialogue is unfortunately inconsistent in this one. While the strong moments really shine, the movie also has some weaker moments that feel a bit overdone. The movie takes some shortcuts late in the story that might leave you feeling cheated. While this is a good story, it fails to do anything new or impressive.
This movie has a strong cast that do nice work with the material. While the story might not surprise anyone, the performances are full of surprises. Al Pacino is in excellent form in this movie. His performance is energetic and clearly understanding of the essence of his character. He also knows exactly how to play off the work of his co-stars. Keanu Reeves also does a nice job with this one. While he wouldn’t have been my first casting choice, he manages to play a Southern lawyer very nicely. He also brings a very high level of emotion to his role at just the right moments. Charlize Theron is another nice addition to this one. She does a great job with the most emotionally demanding role in the movie. These three come together to do good work with a story that didn’t offer much help. The rest of the cast also do good work in this one.
This movie has some nice elements thanks to the camera work, sets, and special effects. The visuals do a good job adjusting with the ever-darkening tone of the story. The movie also has a nice score that accents the unique aspects of this one. The running time of this movie is a bit of a killer. At over two hours and twenty minutes, this one loses steam throughout the movie. Overall, this one is an entertaining thriller that just doesn’t do anything new or unique. Fans of the stars should check this one out since the acting is the best aspect of the movie. I would also recommend this to fans of supernatural thrillers. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.