Directed By: Taylor Hackford
Written By: Andrew Neiderman
This is a somewhat interesting film that I think ultimately could have been made better by a different filmmaker. It is the product of several rewrites and revisions during production and if I had to guess is probably only remotely resembles the book it was based on by Andrew Neiderman. However I haven’t read that book and am only making an assumption. It is an interesting film that gets boring at times. It has loose connections to John Milton’s Paradise Lost and I find that interesting enough. Throw in Al Pacino as the devil and people are going to pay to see it. I used to be much more interested in these “Grisham-esque” films that were popular during 90s but this wasn’t one of the better ones.
The driving force of this film is the performance of Al Pacino, but aren’t so many of his films that way? I am not really the biggest Pacino fan but he has always had an uncanny ability of carrying a movie on his own with really stellar performances. His presence gives this film the only validity that it has because he is a great choice to play the devil. His character is obviously named from the author of the famed epic poem Paradise Lost that the film makes some allusions to. He is cool and natural in this role because the part was tailored specifically for him. The several re-writes I mentioned were done in an effort to get Pacino to accept the part. I think Keanu Reeves does a relatively decent job acting in this film. He isn’t even close to being on Pacino’s level but he does keep up with him well enough. This film came out right before Reeves hit it big in 1999 with The Matrix, and perhaps this role played a part in getting the attention of the producers of the sci-fi thriller. I have never been a big fan of Charlize Theron especially since she made Monster. I didn’t even seen that film but have never been able to look at her the same way again. She isn’t bad in this movie as the wife slowly driven to madness though. Her role brings the vague horror element to the film, along with Pacino’s occasional moments up until he reveals his sinister side and everything changes. I used to be a fan of Jeffery Jones and he is in many films that I really love but I can’t speak favorably about a pervert of his kind. In 2001 Jones was charges with possession of kiddie porn and has since been a registered sex offender.
This isn’t a film that I can put my stamp of approval on. It doesn’t do a good job captivating the viewer and I have found myself overcome with boredom during this re-watching. Now that we have reached the end I think the film was far too long and the end doesn’t do enough to make up for that fact. The end is a bit strange altogether really because the movie takes such a sudden change in tone and content. Through most of the film Pacino is merely a shady lawyer with a mysterious aura surrounding him but then he enters the church and all hell breaks loose. There are some supernatural elements all throughout the film but at the end they just turn the volume way up and it messes with the flow of the story. This is a movie that I used to like and it does have its merits but now I’d say watch at your own risk. If you find it to be enjoyable and worth your time let me know what you think about it, I would love to hear some other points of view on this one.
This movie has very interesting parts to it. I think for the most part, you are always trying to figure something out and wondering about this and that, but I also think this movie totally loses it at the very end. Not only is it incredibly long and drawn out, but it ends in such a crazy way. I think you guys all know how I feel about Keanu. I just think that he is horrible unless he is playing an idiot teenager or an alien or a part with hardly any words. I love Pacino, but how can you not? And, honestly who better to play a Devil like character? This film is set in New York City, probably the most sinful city in the world out side of Las Vegas and I think that is appropriate. This film is interesting, but not one of my favorites and I really don’t even know what it is doing in our collection.
By the way, just something that I find funny. Ryan’s vocabulary is wide and he usually corrects my grammar and pronunciation, but for some strange reason he cannot pronounce this movie title correctly to save his life. He calls it the “The Devil’s Acovete.”
NEXT MOVIE: The Devil’s Rejects (2005)