The Devil’s Advocate

Originally posted 2016-03-05 12:00:20.

It’s time for another thrilling installment of ’90s movie night. Although there were some heavy contenders this week, the obvious quickly revealed itself: Keanu Reeves. Al Pacino. Mediocre literary references. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Devil’s Advocate.

’90s darling Keanu Reeves gives a riveting performance as Kevin Lomax, a hotshot southern defense attorney who has never lost a case in spite of some obviously guilty clients.

After one particularly bothersome win (the client a super icky pedophile), Lomax is courted by the prestigious firm Milton, Chadwick & Waters. Kevin and his wife, Mary Anne (an unfortunately permed Charlize Theron), immediately load up their truck and move to Beverly. New York City, that is. The two are swept up into a lavish lifestyle with high profile parties and expensive apartments, but all is not sunshine and rainbows. With Kevin constantly working, Mary Anne spirals into depression, and rightfully so. Kevin refuses to listen to her concerns about their new life and his new boss, Milton (Al Pacino).


John Milton is charismatic and powerful. Sure, he likes to party hard and has an eye for the ladies, but Kevin is smitten, and these characteristics seem to only further his feelings. As it turns out, there is a reason that Kevin looks up to his new mentor so much, and there’s a reason that Milton’s firm was so interested in Kevin. Yup, Milton is Kevin’s daddy. Oh, and Milton is also the father of the underworld. You know, Satan.

Kevin actually seems way more disturbed that Milton is his dad than by the fact that he is Lucifer in the flesh, but that’s neither here nor there. Milton lets Kevin in on his plan to bring about the Antichrist. The little bundle of hell would be the offspring of Kevin and his half sister. Just when Milton thinks that Kevin is game, though, Kevin shoots himself in the head with a random gun. Sorry Satan.

The Devil’s Advocate wasn’t as bad as I had hoped it would be. I actually enjoyed it. This defies all logic, but it’s true. Satan here chooses the name John Milton, which just so happens to be the name of the brilliant poet behind Paradise Lost. This epic poem details the fall of man, and let me tell you, it is the shit. Instead of being offended that one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written was invoked in this way, I was actually amused. Moreover, the writers of The Devil’s Advocate at the very least read the back flap of Paradise Lost, because the movie contains at least one direct quote from the piece (“make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”). Good work, writers.

I was really hoping for more campiness here. I’m actually disappointed that this was a legit movie and not something that I could endlessly mock for the rest of my natural existence. There’s always next time.

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Previously Published on on January 30, 2016