The Lookout (3 stars)

The Lookout

(15) 98min


If life was a competition, then Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon Levitt) would be seeded one millionth. Nursing a serious head injury after causing a fatal car accident, the unfortunately named Pratt has both physical disability and painful levels of guilt to overcome in Scott Frank’s film noir thriller. Prior to this directorial debut, Frank authored the screenplays of several Elmore Leonard adaptations, including Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, and his original script for The Lookout offers the same narrative corkscrew of downbeat characters and tense situations as Pratt gets sucked into acting as inside man for a heist organised by amoral hood Spargo (Matthew Goode).

The bloody aftermath of The Lookout’s botched heist is predictable, but there’s a gallery of well-drawn characters on the way; Isla Fisher as gangster’s moll Luvlee, Sergio de Zio as an over-friendly police deputy, and Jeff Daniels as a blind friend of Pratt’s who admits he’s been ‘turned down more often than the beds at the Holiday Inn’. The pivotal device in Franks’ script, a notepad which Pratt uses to sequence his daily routines, inevitably evokes comparisons with Memento, but this film’s subtle evocation of small town purgatory makes it well worth looking out for.

General release from Fri 2 Nov.

The Lookout

  • 3 stars
  • 2007
  • US
  • 1h 39min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Scott Frank
  • Written by: Scott Frank
  • Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, Isla Fisher, Bruce McGill

Chris Pratt (Gordon-Levitt) is a former high school athlete whose life is ruined by a car accident that has left him disabled and guilt-ridden. While working nights as a cleaner at a bank, he is befriended by the leader of a gang (Goode) who plans to rob the bank, until he begins to get wind of their plans. Despite the…