The Devil’s Advocate

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 2:18 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

The Devil’s Advocate
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Charlize Theron, Jeffry Jones, Craig T. Nelson
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: Warner Bros.
Release Date: 1997
Kiddie Movie: Not unless your kid is the son of the Devil.
Date Movie: Sure.
Gratuitous Sex: A couple of scenes.
Gratuitous Violence: Yup.
Action: Not really, mostly suspense.
Laughs: Some chuckles during the Devil’s ranting scene.
Memorable Scene: The Devil’s ranting scene, explaining most of mankind.
Memorable Quote: Too many to mention.
Directed By: Taylor Hackford

“The Devil’s Advocate.” This movie almost had it all. You had sex, nudity, quality kills, scary demon monsters, good looking women, good looking men, an original story, and one of the best ranting scenes in movie history. All that is was missing was a quality car chase, and they left in about 5 minutes of film that should have wound up on the cutting room floor. Dammit! For once I want to see an ending, a good ending, and not drag a movie out just a little bit further to ruin it for me. Now, I know these things might be my opinions, but I thought the movie was about 5 minutes too long. But we’ll start at the beginning.

Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) is a lawyer, and a pretty damn good one. His problem – he’s stuck in this small Florida town and there aren’t too many cases that come up requiring the talents he possesses. He’s got an adorable wife, a loving mother, but in his heart he wants more. John Milton (Al Pacino) heads a Manhattan law firm, and is the Devil. His problem, well, it’s always been the Devil’s problem, having evil win over good. Now, I won’t spoil one slight surprise, but eventually Kevin finds himself recruited by John to work in the city of evil – New York City. Kevin has this great ability to pick any jury to acquit any bad guy, and seems to be getting over his moral problem of letting the bad guys get acquitted even though he knows they are guilty.

Now, working for the Devil does have some privileges, but not without its price. First off, there is poor Mary Ann Lomax, Kevin’s wife, played by Charlize Theron. She is definitely not ready for the life of the rich and famous, or the demonic and scary. Nope, she wants hubby to always be by her side, and the material possessions that go along with her husband working for the Mighty Bad One just aren’t cutting it. So, what is the Devil to do but drive her insane. It works – she ends up in the psych-ward at the hospital. Poor Mary Ann – she should have never left the small town. Well, most of her problem is caused by her ever hungry for more husband. He sees there is trouble in his marriage, but rather than jump off the court wagon, he opts to finish his high-profile murder case he is on. His mother comes to town to try and help, but by now it’s too late. Kevin has risen through the ranks quickly, is easily manipulated by Milton, but eventually comes to realize the evil that is Milton. Here comes the confrontation.

So, Kevin marches to El Diablo Milton’s penthouse, convinced old John is responsible for his wife’s going crazy. What to do? Let’s try and shoot him. Yep, Kevin pulls out a gun, unloads it into John, and well, let’s just say that bullets don’t do much against his Almighty Badness. Thus begins one of the best ranting scenes I have ever witnessed. Milton begins to tell Kevin his fate, how things came to be, and how things are supposed to become, but only with Kevin’s help. The Devil explains choices people make, the sense of humor of God, the real reasons lawyers exist, and how through the eons the battle between good and evil raged on. And for a minute, it looks as if Kevin is buying it, is ready to turn to the dark side, except I think it’s the Devil’s own fault Kevin gets a conscience – the Devil wouldn’t shut up.

The Devil needs Kevin to continue his work, and with Kevin’s help, God won’t stand a chance. Kevin is almost ready to take that step, and then he finally gets that conscience he has so willfully shed in the past. He has a choice – take his life and ruin the Devil’s plan, run away (although the Devil would probably be able to find him and make his life more miserable than it already is), or join the bad team. Well, in a happy for God but bad for Kevin ending, Kevin blows his brains out and the Devil spirals to the pit of damnation. I hear all of you groaning now, how I just ruined the ending. Well, I didn’t, because that’s not the end. Nope, I’ll let you shell out your seven bucks and see the last five minutes of what I thought ruined this mighty fine film.

Al Pacino is utterly terrific in his role as the Almighty Bad One. He has the fiendish grin, the anger, the cunning, and the manipulative attitude to pull off the role as the Devil playing a lawyer perfectly. Keanu Reeves isn’t bad either, in probably one of his better acting style roles. He is easily manipulated into wanting more and not seeing the catastrophes that are building around him. This was definitely almost one of the best movies I’ve seen.

So, the rating. After Keanu blew his brains out and the Devil spiraled back to the pits of hell, I was ready to give this film five stars, especially after Pacino’s performance. I was happy for mankind, sad for Keanu, and ready to get out of my seat pleased that Hollywood didn’t ruin a really good movie. But then, it didn’t end. “Noooooooo!” I screamed in the theater (well, maybe not screamed, but I groaned loudly). I won’t ruin it, but I didn’t like it, and five minutes of film cost this movie a star. That gives “The Devil’s Advocate” 4 out of 5 stars. I can’t wait for the video so I can stop this movie where I think it should have ended – Keanu in a pool of blood on the floor.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Aeon Flux

MPAA Rated – PG-13
It’s 1:33 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Aeon Flux Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Charlize Theron
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Paramount Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Leave them at home.
Date Movie: Leave them at home as well.
Gratuitous Sex: There is a scene and Aeon is in a bunch of skimpy and tight outfits.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of killing, but only the PG-13 kind.
Action: Lots of running and chasing.
Laughs: Nah.
Memorable Scene: Nothing really.
Memorable Quote: None stand out.
Directed By: Karyn Kusama
Produced By: David Gale, Gregory Goodman, Gale Anne Hurd, Gary Lucchesi

The only thing I could come up with, as I sat there watching “Aeon Flux,” was that I’ll bet it looked a lot better on paper. The story was okay, Charlize Theron looked good, although I didn’t like her hair, but in the end, the movie just didn’t seem to click for me, and not having seen the animated series from which it was based, I don’t know if it was even supposed to. Anyway, here’s the basic story…

It’s 400 years from now and most of the human population was wiped out, well, about now, due to a way wicked disease. To save the world, some scientists came up with a cure, then built this walled-in city, kind of a Utopia, where all is supposedly well, although all really isn’t. Lately an underground movement has been afoot to overthrow the Goodchild family (they’re the ruling brothers, who helped develop the original vaccine). It seems the underground folk are becoming increasingly concerned that some citizens just seem to disappear, for no apparent reason, and it is time to take action. Spurring on this is Aeon’s, I believe her niece, being mistaken as a spy and killed by the government folks. Aeon now has nothing to live for but a mission, and as it turns out, her mission is to assassinate Trevor Goodchild (Marton Csokas), one of the ruling brothers. She’s ready to do the deed, but then starts finding out certain things, and suddenly she finds him more important to keep alive, and he quickly realizes that you can’t always trust your siblings.

As the story plays out, and I won’t ruin the “surprise” that explains the Utopian world, Aeon is now on the good side of Trevor, they have to escape, then get back in, she has to jump on an airship which holds all of the secrets of the world, and Sithandra (Sophie Okonedo), a dudette with hands for feet, goes from being Aeon’s ally, to Aeon’s nemesis, and back to Aeon’s ally, thanks to some weird telepathic powers that the underground warriors have developed.

So, what did I find wrong with the movie? I don’t know, maybe it was because Aeon was just too cold of a character. Her only emotion was really one of gloom, even in times of discovery, and her narration just proved droning. The action sequences were alright, but I suppose the other issue I had with the movie was that I wish movie folks would quit doing the “We shoot and kill lots of people yet since we don’t actually show them getting shot and killed and don’t show blood, well, we can still get the PG-13 rating to get the kids” thing and just make the movie an R movie. Aeon had skimpy outfits, but pretty much screamed to run around naked a couple of time, they could have had better quality kills by being R, and could have used dialogue that might be more appropriate, although maybe vulgarities don’t exist in a Utopian society. That, or maybe they should have really done this movie as an animated movie rather than live action, and just kept it true to the original roots of the movie.

“Aeon Flux” wasn’t horrible, but it seemed more like two hours rather than the hour and a half running time it actually had. It’s 2 stars out of 5 for “Aeon Flux.” Would have been better rated R.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!