COURTESY OF MIRAMAX FILMS
“Whoever has the money has the power.” That’s the key phrase that sets Chris Pratt on a journey that will drastically change his life. Written and directed by Scott Frank (Get Shorty), “The Lookout” follows Chris, a once revered high school athlete seriously injured in a car accident.
After the accident leaves him physically and emotionally scarred, Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is just trying to get back to a normal life, or at least some semblance of one. Chris now wakes up, takes his meds, gets dressed and eats breakfast by reading notes left around his apartment telling him what to do. Suffering from sequencing memory problems, Chris writes everything he needs to accomplish that day in a small spiral notebook. Chris’s life seems monotonous until he runs into Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode) at a bar. Gary offers him a chance to become independent and powerful again - all he has to do is be the lookout while they rob the Noel State Bank & Trust, the same bank Chris works at as the night janitor.
The actual robbery takes a backseat to Chris trying to come to terms with his new life and the painful scars and memories he is left with. The bank robbery is just another step that helps Chris start to realize that he can take control of his life and start to move forward.
Levitt gives a moving performance as a young man trying to put back the pieces of his life. He portrays Chris’ struggles with sequencing, uncontrollable outbursts and bursts of inappropriate behavior with such intensity the audience can feel his frustration and pain. Goode makes a scary criminal, with a creepy bodyguard appropriately named Bone.
Jeff Daniels gives a standout performance as Lewis, Chris’ protective, blind roommate. Eccentric and blunt, Daniels elicits several laughs with his quirky jokes and lines. He discreetly draws attention to himself not only through his words but also his actions. Seeing Daniels’ performance is one of the main reasons to fork over $10 to see this movie.
Isla Fisher plays a small, seemingly insignificant role as Luvlee, a former stripper who helps lure Chris into Gary’s plan. Fisher is given such little screen time that their relationship seems contrived and carelessly thrown together as a way to get Chris interested in helping Gary.
While this film isn’t as exciting as other films dealing with memory loss, such as “Memento,” it still gives a deft insight into the psyche of a person who has seemingly lost everything in his life.