out of Five
Running time: 98
Engaging, smartly directed thriller with fantastic performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jeff Daniels, though the script commits a couple of glaring errors along the way.
What's it all about?
Written and directed by screenwriter-turned-director Scott Frank, The Lookout stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Chris Pratt, a former high school hockey star who has problems with memory and sequencing after a tragic car crash. Unable to hold down a regular job, Chris gets a job as a night janitor in a bank and gets through his day-to-day life by constantly writing things down in a notebook and relying on his blind flatmate, Lewis (Jeff Daniels) if things get tough.
When Chris meets improbably-named sexpot Luvlee (Isla Fisher), he thinks his luck might be about to change, particularly when her charismatic friend Gary (Matthew Goode) invites him to join their cool gang. However, Chris is unaware that the gang are planning to frame him for a bank robbery.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is superb as Chris, eschewing the usual route of physical tics and grimaces and instead creating a damaged character that we really care about. Daniels is equally good as the warm-hearted, wise-cracking Lewis, while Matthew Goode delivers a flawless American accent that suggests he could have a big Stateside career ahead of him.
The film is as much a drama as it is a thriller, with Chris struggling to adjust to his new life, while painfully aware of the man he used to be - to that end, a Thanksgiving scene with Lewis and Chris' messed-up family proves surprisingly moving.
Unfortunately, the script makes a couple of glaring errors that really leap out at you. Firstly, there's no way that someone in Chris' condition would be able to legally drive a car and secondly, Fisher's character literally disappears, making it seem like Frank simply couldn't be bothered to give the romance any closure and just wrote her out instead.
Despite its flaws, The Lookout is an enjoyable and surprisingly moving thriller that's well worth seeing for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance.