THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (1997)

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Christopher

For whatever reason I always confused this movie with End Of Days but watching this film again I realize how much I don’t remember of it. The whole story is so dumb, and like The Game, you can pretty much see the ending from the very biggining.

Elizabeth (spoilers!)

I honestly feel sort of conflicted by The Devil’s Advocate. I saw it in high school and thought it was awesome. Re-watching it, I didn’t think it was that awesome but it wasn’t all terrible, either. It’s weird.

I think one of the best and worst things going for the movie is its length. It’s nearly 2 and a half hours long, which gives the story a good amount of time to build buuuuuut is still sort of too long. Keanu Reeves plays Kevin, an awesome lawyer, who tries three big-time cases in the course of the movie. Isn’t that a little much? I know it’s supposed to drive home the fact that Kevin defends “bad” people, but we don’t need to see every second of it.

That’s the first thing that came up that bothered me: everyone freaks out because Kevin is a defense lawyer who never loses, but also defends pedophiles and murderers. Isn’t that how our legal system works? Kevin’s wife, Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) is eventually overcome with guilt because they got rich from Kevin defending guilty people. But that’s his job! I don’t get it! Someone has to be these people’s defense lawyers. Are we supposed to hate defense lawyers now? Are pedophiles and murderers not supposed to receive a fair trial? Maybe that’s getting too sensitive, but I just didn’t understand why he was supposed to be a bad guy just because of his job.

Kevin gets poached by a giant law firm headed by John (Al Pacino), who sort of plays his character from The Scent of a Woman except with more yelling. Once they get to New York, Mary Ann’s storyline sort of turns into a weird Rosemary’s Baby-esque story. She starts to go insane and sees demons, as well as has a dream that a baby is playing with her uterus. She, like apparently all women in movies, is hell-bent on having a kid, even though her husband is never home and she has severe depression. Sounds good!

So, we all know that Al Pacino is the devil, and because of this he keeps making Mary Ann go insane, all the while insisting that Kevin take a break from work and take care of him. But Kevin refuses and lets her go insane. John/Satan eventually rapes Mary Ann, causing her to have a total breakdown and Kevin puts her in a mental hospital. Kevin’s mom, who used to hate Mary Ann, visits her in the hospital, which I sort of loved. In the beginning, there’s the stereotypical mother-in-law vs. daughter-in-law conflict, but eventually Kevin’s mom realizes what a total dick he is to his wife, so she swoops in to take care of her. Kevin and his mom talk outside Mary Ann’s room while Kevin’s secretary stays with Mary Ann (for some reason). Mary Ann sees the secretary morph into a demon, smashes a mirror against the secretary’s face, and then locks everyone out of her room. Okay, this is where a really intense scene happens. Her door is barricaded closed, but Kevin and everyone else can still see Mary Ann through the door window, which is reinforced with wire. Kevin tries to reason with her to open the door, frantically talking and then yelling at her, while Mary Ann calmly picks up a piece of glass from the broken mirror . . . and straight up cuts her throat just as Kevin makes it into the room. This movie isn’t amazing, but that scene is reallyyyyyyy intense.

Turns out that Al Pacino is Satan (duh) and Kevin is his son. Also turns out that Kevin’s sexy co-worker is actually his sexy half sister and Satan wants them to have sex and have the Antichrist. Okay, I don’t mean to play . . . THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE . . . here but: if you’ve just watched the one person you love brutally kill themselves, and you’ve just found out that Satan (and so I guess therefore God) is real and you’re half-Satan . . . I mean, wouldn’t you just kind of go with it? Is that weird of me? I guess I figure in that situation you have nothing to lose. Maybe your personal morals are supposed to get in the way of you joining Satan, and me thinking that joining Satan would be a good idea says a lot about me buuuuuuut whatever.

Well, instead of joining Satan, Kevin shoots himself. When he does, he suddenly finds himself back in the Florida courthouse from the beginning of the movie, before the pedophile he’s defending is acquitted, with Mary Ann alive and well. So it was all a dream? Except then a reporter who wants to do a story on Kevin morphs into Al Pacino behind Kevin’s back, so I guess it wasn’t all a dream? I can only assume Kevin is stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque loop that will continue until he agrees to join up with Satan.

But I have to talk about something that really bothers me in movies like this. This first came to my attention when I saw The Exorcist for the first time around 8th grade. And before I say anything, I’m not religious and I’m certainly not any kind of religious scholar. But. Where the hell is God in all of these movies in which Satan fucks with people? In the case of The Devil’s Advocate Satan is actually on earth, interacting with people. If Satan can send himself and demons and stuff to mess with people, why doesn’t God swoop in and take care of business? Or at least send some angels or something to help? Seems lame to me.

Anyway, I sort of don’t know how I feel about this movie. But it’s worth seeing.

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3 thoughts on “THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE (1997)

  1. God gave us all Freewill, hence one must call upon the Lord’s name in order to receive His Heavenly support. Perhaps the real question should be: why aren’t more movies showing people calling out to Our Lord in panicked situations? This same question has left me pondering for decades. .

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