The Lookout – ✩✩✩ ( out of ✩✩✩✩✩ )
There are two tales wrapped up in writer/director Scott Frank‘s The Lookout. The first is about Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a young man struggling with readjusting his life after an accident leaves him in a diminished mental state. He is helped by an older blind man (Jeff Daniels) and an appointed psychologist (Carla Gugino – who doesn’t get near enough screen time) to try and create a new life for himself, forget his past mistakes and former girlfriend (Laura Vandervoort), come to terms with how his family (Bruce McGill, Alberta Watson, Janaya Stephens, Marc Devigne) now acts around him, and move on with his life.
The second thread involves a group of thieves (Matthew Goode, Greg Dunham, Morgan Kelly, Aaron Berg) who take advantage of Chris’s position as a bank janitor for a planned heist with the help of an attractive young woman (Isla Fisher).
The first story works well, and the struggle of the small town athlete struggling with his new limitations is interesting to watch. The heist plot-line isn’t as well done. I love heist films, but because of the set-up of the film you lose one of the crucial parts that make great heist films great – the planning. It also reminded me a little of The Score, itself only a so-so heist flick, though here the inside man is actually brain damaged instead of just pretending to be.
The Lookout provides opportunities for some nice performances, especially by Gordon-Levitt and Fisher, and some passable action scenes. But the real story, of this man struggling with his life is overtaken and swallowed up by a rather pedestrian heist/action flick in the second half. Still, there’s plenty here to enjoy and talk about, and even if it does go off the tracks at times, it manages to bring the elements together for a satisfactory, if not too surprising, conclusion.
The Lookout (3 Stars out of 5) is Rated R for language, some violence and sexual content, with a running time of 99 minutes.