Director: Scott Frank (US – 2007)
A tiresomely derivative debut from Oscar nominated screenwriter Scott Frank, the Midwestern, neo-noir, ‘The Lookout’ follows the ill-fated trajectory of popular high-school jock, Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who, after a tragic car accident on prom night, suffers from a serious brain injury resulting in crippling memory lapses and poor impulse control. In a desperate attempt to sustain a regular life, he takes a janitor position mopping floors in a rural bank, but gets caught up in a premeditated heist with a shady bunch of thugs who he may have known before the accident.
Making good use of its snow-capped, Fargo-esque landscape and utilizing the existential angst of ‘Memento,’ the film generates an admirable sense of unease, but lacks the velocity and taught, provocative structure of those predecessors, resulting in a straight-forward genre piece in which double-crosses and surprise twists lead to the inevitable. Still, Gordon-Levitt is superb as the cognitively challenged protagonist, as is the aptly cast Isla Fisher, in the role of ‘Luvlee Lemons,’ a sickly-sweet, femme fatale. Jeff Daniels leaves no scenery unchewed, but provides sardonic, comic relief as Pratt’s blind, sex-starved roommate. Forgettable fun.
Time Out (London) – Issue 1941 – 31st October 2007 – Page 77