AML DVD Review: “The Lookout”

By Mike

January 4, 2008 DVD Features Movies Reviews 3 Comments

If you are the normal movie watcher, you probably haven’t heard of The Lookout. Maybe you have, and if know what it’s about already, props to you. But I’m willing to be this is one of those movies that slipped the cracks this year and deserves a look on DVD.

(It’s also out on Blu-Ray for you lucky dogs out there.)

The Lookout stars Joseph Gordon Levitt, who you likely know from Third Rock from the Sun, if you ever watched that insane show. If you only knew him on there, you’d never think that he could possibly become a great young actor, but he has.

The last movie I saw him in was Brick, back in 2005, and he was brilliant in that. If you love movies and are looking for something different and very, very good, check out Brick. It’s a high school murder mystery, with Levitt trying to find out what happened to his ex-girlfriend, but the dialog is very much like a 1940′s film noir, almost Shakespeare-like.

In The Lookout, Levitt plays Chris Pratt, a young man who is trying to cope with the aftermath of being in a tragic car accident in his late high school years. Not only is there emotional baggage, but he is physically impaired in a strange way.

He has a hard time sequencing. He doesn’t always know what to do next without referencing a notebook he carries with him. It’s like he lost his ability to think logically.

The hardship he struggles with was fascinating to me and really gives the movie its heart.

Jeff Daniels plays his roommate, an obviously much older man who is blind and paired up with Pratt to help him get his life back in order. He provides some much needed humor in the movie and heart. He loves Pratt and takes care of him every day, despite being impaired himself.

The focal point of the movie though, aside from Pratt’s inability to sequence, is a gang who is looking to rob the bank where Pratt works as a janitor. They try to befriend him in hopes of pulling Pratt into their caper. Matthew Goode (from Match Point) plays Gary Spargo, the leader of the gang and he’s also very good here.
While the plot includes the big heist and what happens before, during and after, the real greatness in the movie lies with how Pratt deals with his challenges. You really feel for the guy and the agony he goes through trying to get his life back on track.

I’d compare the movie to A Simple Plan, only in it’s quiet, slow nature. This isn’t an action-packed bank heist film, but it pulls it off slowly and effectively.

The movie was directed by Scott Frank, who also did Minority Report and The Interpreter.

AML Rating: B+

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