Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Lookout

A friend recommended the indie flick, The Lookout, a few weeks ago and I finally got around to watching it this weekend. It won an Independent Spirit award for best First Feature, and I concur. For a first film, it's an excellent story, well executed and very well acted. Joseph Gorden-Levitt (Third Rock from the Sun, and 10 Things I Hate About You) is a former star athlete, Chris, who now suffers from a brain injury that leaves him with a poor memory and the ability to organize certain ideas. He works as a night janitor at a bank, and lives with a blind roommate (Jeff Daniels) who helps him keep track of things. He hangs out at a bar after work drinking NA beer and overhears a great pickup line, but fails to get the right effect when he delivers it himself. He meets an old boyfriend of his sister's, Gary, who eventually brings Chris into his confidence and "gang" about their plans to rob a bank - specifically the one Chris cleans at night. Chris is happy just to have friends again, particularly ones who understand his condition. It's pretty obvious Gary is taking advantage of Chris, but it's hard to see exactly how he'll make him take the fall. Chris goes along with the gang, but at the last minute realizes he's being taken advantage of, and that they'll probably kill him or drop all the blame on him. And when they threaten both his roommate and a police officer friend, he starts making plans to outwit the gang. However, it's not clear whether he'll be able to retain his plan or figure out how to execute it when the time comes. It's a great mystery, and it's hard to see the plot twists coming, so I really enjoyed the movie. Jeff Daniels plays an excellent friend who only wants what's best for Chris, and works hard to point him in the right direction. Also, Isla Fisher plays a small role that helps Chris get into the gang. Oh, and throughout most of the movie, I kept being reminded of Heath Ledger. Joseph Gorden-Levitt is growing into a fantastic actor, and a strong resemblance to Ledger, both in acting style and in looks. I can't wait to see him make it big. 4 stars/LAMBs
Large Association of Movie Blogs


Rachel said...

I had differing thoughts on this one. I thought the movie was good, to be sure; however, I almost felt like the character of Chris was put in the wrong film. I guess I thought that Chris was deeper than the action of the movie, if that makes any sense. But yeah, JGL is awesome. His performance really moved me. If you haven't seen Brick with him in it, I highly recommend.

Jess said...

Wow, Rachel, you describe it perfectly. I couldn't figure out why I had little to say about Isla Fisher or Jeff Daniel's performances, because as supporting goes, they were pretty good, but nothing compared to Chris' storyline. It was too developed for the rest. The movie would have been even better if the other characters had a little more development. My movie partner had a few questions about the other characters background that didn't really get explained. Excellent first feature, and hopefully more great things will come from this movie team.

WaywardJam said...

JGL is awesome. I'd love to see him get a lead role in a big budget film. I enjoyed the Lookout. Isla Fisher was totally one-dimensional. Jeff Daniels is great when the material is there for him. I agree there was some underdeveloped supporting roles.

Brick is phenomenal. JGL is also in Mysterious Skin, an out there and slightly graphic film but one worth watching for him (and Mary Lynn Rajskub).