The Devil’s Advocate

God save us when director Taylor Hackford decides to become a metaphysician and Al Pacino decides to demonstrate his genius by reading the phone bookor, to be precise, a script only slightly less repetitive and long-winded. Keanu Reeves plays a hotshot Florida lawyer who’s lured with his wife (Charlize Theron) to sin-filled Manhattan aka Babylon by a huge law firm overseen by Satan aka John Milton (Pacino), who rolls his eyes and gesticulates to show how clever and charismatic he is. Hackford makes this awkwardly told story go on forever, throwing in special effects whenever he suspects we might be napping, and eventually turns it all into a (you guessed it) cautionary fable with a couple of glib twists at the end. At half its present length it might make an OK midnight camp item. With Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey, and Craig T. Nelson; written by Jonathan Lemkin and Tony Gilroy from a novel by Andrew Neiderman. (JR)

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