“Dude, it’s the most important job of all… you’re the lookout”.
Screenwriter Scott Frank, the creative mind behind Minority Report (2002), Out of Sight (1998) and Get Shorty (1995), makes his directorial debut with 2007 crime drama The Lookout. His writing credits alone are strong enough to raise expectations for this film and are perhaps the reason he was chosen to write and direct this dark study of depression. The impressive cast list add to the expectations, which include Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 2010), Jeff Daniels (Dumb & Dumber, 1994), Matthew Goode (Watchmen, 2009) and Isla Fisher (Hot Rod, 2007). On the whole this film reaches these expectations.
Scott Frank once again provides a beautiful script that follows Chris Pratt (Gordon-Levitt) a once admired athlete whose life is turned upside down after a tragic accident. Living with his blind friend Lewis (Daniels) he searches for a return to a normal life and recovery from his brain damage. Things are looking positive until he is befriended by gang leader Gary Spargo (Goode) and sidekick Luvlee (Fisher) and finds himself involved in a heist at the bank where he works.
Shown in flashbacks, the narrative brilliantly emphasises the plaguing effect the life changing mistake had on the lead role. Frank clearly displays his writing capabilities, but not only that he includes stylish and artistic cinematography that blends seamlessly in to the narrative.
With a recent exceptional performance under his belt in Inception (2010) Joseph Gordon-Levitt is strong and benevolent as brain damaged Chris. With his narration and repetition of lines as he attempts to keep a routine and regain his memory you really do begin to feel sympathy for the character.
Having only seen Jeff Daniels in comedy appearances 101 Dalmatians (1996) and Dumb and Dumber (1994) this is easily his best acting as Lewis. The relationship between Lewis and Chris is strong and provides the comedy element, which is a necessity as the film is occasionally a bit too depressing.
The rest of the cast perform well among these is Matthews Goode as the antagonist Gary. The character is seemingly nice, but as soon as his plan falls in to place he becomes evil, which he performs impeccably. Having what is quite a short career this performance is his best and really makes up for the complete disappointment that was Watchmen.
Scott Frank’s first, and seemingly only, crack at directing delivers a brilliant plot and top notch acting which achieves 8/10.