First time I watched this film was on a house party. It was 1999. Sporthallen Zuid, Amsterdam. Digital Overdose was the name of the party, which featured areas like Hellraiser, Immortality, The Tunnel Of Terror etc. Bit of a weird environment I admit but between the Tunnel of Terror and the mainstream stage this was a welcome way to relax for a while. After this movie they showed G.I. Jane, but I skipped that one. This movie was a real surprising one as one would expect a John Grisham-like story about lawyers and cases but there’s more, way more. The Devil’s Advocate: The Firm meets Hellraiser.
This movie is about a young hotshot lawyer who gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he’s offered a job at a mighty law firm in New York. But while he’s scoring big time the woman he loves starts going delusional and things turn out not to be what they seemed.
The Devil’s Advocate is Al Pacino’s one man show, from almost-start to finish. His smile, delivery of lines and simple gestures with his hand have you hyponotised any minute he’s onscreen. The story, fairly grim, revolves about his persona even though it’s not always that obvious, but even off screen you feel his presence. Sure he overacts, he chews the scenery but that’s what I love here. The ranting he does so well, he perfects here. Pacino is, as he calls himself early on in the movie, “master of the universe” which at the end actually proves to be true. Now this is the kind of guy I would sell my soul to.
The downside here is that he plays almost everybody from the screen. Now since his top-billed co-star is Keanu Reeves that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Reeves manages to lose his southern accent from time to time but actually did show some promise on an emotional outbursts holding his wife in his hand. She’s played by Charlize Theron who really showcases here. Sure Pacino dominates the scene, but it’s her who impresses. Her transformation from hot and sexy (a feat she didn’t have to work hard for) to a broken down mentally disturbed woman is convincing. Her delusions a fairly freaky and reminded me of Jacobs Ladder and Hellraiser 2. Her bravery is especially shown when she shows herself to the camera completely naked and vulnerable. She had me impressed and it’s no wonder that she received an Academy Award for her role in Monster. I bet nobody expected that from her on the set of Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.
Story-wise I recommend everybody to watch this movie blank with no prior knowledge. When you’re reading this I hope that that already happened. The movie is really surprising when you start watching it blank. One minute you’re expecting a court-movie, the next you’re watching the son of the Devil having a fued with is father.
The Devil’s Advocate: definitely my favorite sin.