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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Lookout

Jeff Daniels portrays a blind, guitar-playing man whose roommate is persuaded to participate in a bank robbery. The movie ’s first half offers character development.  Photo courtesy Miramax
Jeff Daniels portrays a blind, guitar-playing man whose roommate is persuaded to participate in a bank robbery. The movie ’s first half offers character development. Photo courtesy Miramax

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

Jeff Daniels portrays a blind, guitar-playing man whose roommate is persuaded to participate in a bank robbery. The movie ’s first half offers character development.  Photo courtesy Miramax
Jeff Daniels portrays a blind, guitar-playing man whose roommate is persuaded to participate in a bank robbery. The movie ’s first half offers character development. Photo courtesy Miramax

For a bank-heist movie, the actual bank heist hides in the shadows of the characters in Scott Frank’s The Lookout.

The film brings a fresh and intelligent take to a tired plot line and showcases the incredible acting ability of its leading man Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The movie follows Chris Pratt (Gordon-Levitt), four years after a horrific car accident kills two people and maims Pratt and his girlfriend, Kelly.

The main character suffers a lot of brain damage, has to write everything down to remember it and is two steps away from a complete mental breakdown-—think Memento with a little of One Flew Over the
Cuckoo’s Nest thrown in there.

The day-to-day of Pratt’s life is bleak; he goes to a school for the handicapped then goes to his work as an overnight janitor at a bank in the middle of farm country.

His family has completely alienated him, and his girlfriend is still angry about the accident.

His only friend is Lewis (Jeff Daniels), his blind, witty, guitar-playing roommate.

Everything is fine and dandy, well in a plot sense, until Pratt meets Gary Spargo (Match Point’s Matthew Goode), a class-A burnout, and Luvlee (Wedding Crasher’s Isla Fisher).

Spargo and Luvlee, along with their merry band of misfits, befriend Pratt and convince him to help them rob Pratt’s place of work.

The bank heist is typical, pretty much anyone can guess what is going to happen, and the villains are somewhat one-sided.

Fisher is mostly an annoyance, but the biggest flaw of The Lookout is the uneven halves of the film.

The first half is beautiful character development and witty, crisp dialogue. But the second half seems to slide away from what the movie was doing well to concentrate on a messy, half-thought-out bank heist.
The only thing worth watching in the second half is Pratt’s dealing with the robbery.

The beauty of the movie lies in the characters of Pratt and Lewis.

Lewis’s dialogue bleeds of wit, which Daniels nails with perfection, and brings a nice unusual touch to the film.

I love the fact he isn’t “the blind friend” but in fact “the friend who happens to be blind.” Daniels brings a good solid contrast to our coping-with-his-mental-disability protagonist, Pratt. This performance is one of his best, right along side his character in the unfortunately little-seen The Squid and the Whale.

I am a little biased since Gordon-Levitt is probably my favorite actor, but Gordon-Levitt alone is enough reason to see this flick. He has proved his worth and then some in Brick and Mysterious Skin, but he is most known as the long-haired alien, Tommy, on 3rd Rock from the Sun.

In The Lookout, he brings his all to Pratt. Gordon-Levitt carries the movie well and portrays his character’s dementia strongly. He masters the mannerisms down to the tiniest twitch.

I give this movie four out of five stars.

If the audience is in the mood for a change of pace from Spartans or ice skaters, The Lookout is worth checking out.

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