Kevin Lomax

The Devil's Advocate (1997)

Lose? I don't lose! I win! I win! I'm a lawyer! That's my job, that's what I do!

Occupation:Lawyer. That's his job. That's what he does.
Distinguishing Feature:Interesting relatives
What He Taught Us:Consider the source

Keanu Reeves

Lomax is an ambitious man - he wants things, he wants to win, he wants to know that no one can beat him. He just doesn't quite realise that his soul is on the brink. He is high on his own career trajectory and wants to feel that nobody can beat him. He even says at the height of his wife's trauma, 'I'll win this case and then I'll focus all my energy onto her.' He's made a Faustian pact with getting his ambition. There's this battle, a path of your life, the actions that you do, your internal moral makeup and how you can compromise that for ambition. Until there's a moment where you have to make a choice. Do you go all the way? Do you sell your soul for power and love of money?

He's an ambitious man, a moral man, but he wants personal and material gain. He's never lost a case, he's vain, and he's proud he's an attorney. He doesn't acknowledge the things in life that he can't control. Kevin's a man who's very much about control, and he always thinks that he has the answers. Which he normally does have until he sells out to Manhattan's temptations. Think of Rosemary's Baby and Wall Street and Bonfire Of The Vanities and you have the feeling.

The guy's a shark, as well as someone who's in conflict. That was one of the things Taylor Hackford [director] wanted to get through: he was both light and dark, not to mention aggressive.


An odd take on the everyman character, torn between God (mommy) and Satan (daddy). I am a medievalist, I saw this film before becoming a Keanu fan, and I was so surprised to see such a character in a modern film.

Lomax has his virtues: he loves his wife and his mother; he knows what is good and what is evil; he knows that as a human being he has free will to choose good over evil. However, being a fallen human being (and the Son of Satan to boot) Lomax is sinful: he is vain, and he is lustful.

All this makes him a delightful catch for Daddy Satan, who plays his son's character the way Hendrix played the guitar. The script makes it clear that Kevin always knows which choices are evil, and which choices are good. However, after leaving his mommy's influence, under his daddy's tutelage, Kevin makes one bad choice after another. He is lustful: he chooses the red-head over his wife. He is vain: he chooses his career over his wife and chooses to defend murderers and pedophiles. His actions drive his wife to suicide, which drives Kevin to his final confrontation with his dad, when Kevin finally redeems himself.

However, Kevin is everyman, and traditionally, everyman faces temptation as long as he lives. When the film ends, we know that yet another cycle of temptation is beginning for poor Kevin, we really haven't a clue how this one will end.


I believe Kevin knows right from wrong - but he also believes that one can use a dirty system whilst keeping ones hands clean. He isn't responsible for the behaviour of his clients - after all, the crime has already been committed by the time he meets them.

He finds it easy to ignore his conscience as it usually comes in the form of the voice of his overly religiously zealous mother. Any discomfort from the way he lives his life or makes his money is put down to his childhood and ignored.

Also, when his wife begins to break down, her very reasonable discomfort and worry is lost behind her growing insanity. Her fears are ignored as they come from such an unstable source. (I disagree with a previous poster who said he drove his wife to suicide - he simply wasn't aware that the things she spoke of were really happening. Had he known IMO, he would have saved her).

Kevin is also being blinded by ambition and lust. The case of his lifetime as well as the attentions of a woman who he lusts after (thanks to his dad) and the interest of his charismatic and demanding new boss, ensure he is very involved in a world where there is no place for his wife.

Kevin's eyes are opened at the movie's climax and we see, that even when faced with an easy choice of getting everything he ever wanted, the loss of the woman he loved forces him to chose to do the right thing. I also believe that this is the ultimate challenge and, as we know, Kevin does not like to lose. The only way to beat Milton is to deprive him of the thing he needs.

The movie ends with a period of rebirth (see what I mean? lol) and a 2nd chance to fail...