The Devils Advocate (1997)
1st January 2000
Kevin Lomax is a hotshot lawyer who has won 64 court cases on the run and he's attracting the attention of a big New York city law firm. Coaxed to the big apple with a fat pay cheque, his success continues and he soon lands the biggest case of his career. He is to represent the biggest property developer in New York who's been charged with a triple murder and only his skill and judgment can get him off the hook.
As he gathers evidence to defend his client, he becomes more and more suspicious of both the law firms ethics and his client innocence. Whilst he concentrates on his job and career, his wife is gradually going insane complaining of seeing demons and witnessing strange paranormal events.
This film was ignored at the cinema, which is a shame, as it is a gripping court room drama with religious overtones. There is a good performance from Keanu Reeves, although his southern accent keeps coming and going at will and, as usual, we get another top performance from Ali Pacino who is obviously relishing his part in the film.
The only disappointment with this film is the picture quality. It can be grainy, and the characters occasionally have outlines, but the worst is yet to come. During the dark scenes artifacting can be clearly seen and for a film with a higher than average bit rate must be put down to poor digital processing and transfer. The sound is unexciting with hardly any use of the surround channel until the last 10 minutes of the film. The majority of the soundtrack is directed through the centre.
With this being an early release from Warner, it is surprising to see such a large amount of extras and an interesting animated set of menus, although, in my opinion, it seemed to give the plot away. The directors interesting and informative commentary is a must to any film fan. Taylor Hackford talks non-stop for over two hours and only during the closing credits do you hear his voice breaking up as his last supplies of saliva are exhausted. He even manages to give a commentary on the deleted scenes and explains why they were removed.
Over all it is a cleverly entertaining film with a good versus evil theme, and the twist at the end is just great.
- Feature Length Commentary by Director Taylor Hackford
- 30 Minutes of Deleted Scenes
- Production Notes
- Five Theatrical Trailers
- Two Television Spots