Tribute (Ca), October 1997
by David Mills
Al Pacino Is A Diabolical Lawyer Who Makes Keanu Reeves An Offer He Can't Refuse
Sidebar: Various versions of the script circulated around Tinseltown for a decade, with Brad Pitt once slated to star.
WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCED that Andrew Neiderman's novel, The Devil's Advocate, was being made into a film starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves, the question on many minds was: 'Does the young screen stud have the acting chops to keep up with Pacino the Great?'
"Al and I both said at first that we didn't know if the kid could do it," admits director Taylor Hackford. "Now we both say we can't think of anybody else who could do this role."
Keanu plays Florida defence attorney Kevin Lomax, an ambitious lawyer who seems to have a knack for getting his clients acquitted, no matter how hopeless the case may seem. Yet his skills pale beside those of silver-tongued devil John Milton (played by Pacino).
Milton, the principal of a powerful Manhattan law practice, convinces Lomax and his young bride to move to New York, seducing them with the offer of a beautiful home and an extravagantly paid position in his firm.
Intoxicated by both the money and the promise of success, Lomax comes increasingly under the sway of his infernal new mentor in what literally becomes a desperate struggle for his soul.
Would Keanu Reeves sell his soul to be Al Pacino? Perhaps not, but if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Reeves has been flattering Pacino throughout his career. Are the following similarities mere coincidence? Decide for yourself.
AL PACINO: Played a drugged-up killer in Scarface.
KEANU REEVES: Played undercover cop in Point Break.
AL: Played gay bank robber in Dog Day Afternoon.
KR: Played gay prostitute in My Own Private Idaho.
AL: Got his arm shot full of heroin in Panic in Needle Park.
KR: God his head shot full of data in Johnny Mnenomic.
AL: Played a drugged-up killer in Scarface.
KR: Played a drugged-up killer in I Love You To Death.
AL: Played a race car driver in Bobby Deerfield.
KR: Played a temporary bus driver in Speed.
AL: Played a cartoon character in Dick Tracy.
KR: Played a cartoon character in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
AL: Starred in the two The Godfather sequels.
KR: Starred in the one Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure sequel.
AL: Played Richard III on film.
KR: Played Hamlet on stage.
AL: Did his own tango in Scent of A Woman.
KR: Did his own stunts for Speed.
AL: Can spell Toronto.
KR: Is from Toronto.
AL: Al is short for "Alfredo."
KR: Keanu means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian