Sunday, April 01, 2007

Review: The Lookout

A Miramax film 2007

Written & Directed by Scott Frank

Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank, where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist.

A character-driven heist film that gets bogged down by its overly blatant redemption theme, The Lookout is perhaps most notable for an excellent performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In fact, the whole cast, which includes Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, Isla Fisher, Bruce McGill, and Carla Gugino, is fantastic. At its best, the film is sharp, funny, and an unsettling; as it moves from Chris trying to accomplish basic, everyday tasks to finding himself being used in a bank heist, it becomes deliciously dark, with just the right amount of disturbing. But the film wears its redemption motiff on its sleeve, repeating images of Chris's tragic accident and too often reminding us that he's a guy who has something to prove. The fine performance from Gordon-Levitt is enough to know that - let the character speak, instead of the film speaking for him. Worth a look.

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