I’m honestly quite surprised that The Lookout isn’t talked about more often. It was released two years after Brick and I think of them in tandem. I think of them alongside Mysterious Skin together as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s comeback, even though these are just some of the movies that he was in that released in a four year period.
The Lookout was written and directed by Scott Frank. He had written several movies before this, including Get Shorty, but this was his directorial debut. He would go on to write other movies, including the last two movies of the Wolverine trilogy, as well as create the recent phenomenon The Queen’s Gambit. It starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, and Isla Fisher. The supporting cast is anchored by Carla Gugino, Bruce McGill, and Alex Borenstein. Spoilers to follow.
The plot centers on Chris Pratt. He is struggling with brain damage after a car wreck that he caused by driving with his lights off. He goes to class to help with his memory and meets with a case manager to check his progress. Chris lives with Lewis, a blind man that tries to look out for his friend and roommate. Chris also works as the night cleaner at a bank, where a local cop comes by to check on Chris and to give him doughnuts. Any friend that will check on you while bringing you doughnuts is a pretty damn good friend, if I may say so myself. One night after work Chris stops by a local bar and meets Gary Spargo. Gary hooks Chris up with Luvlee Lemons the next night. She invites Chris to a late Thanksgiving dinner, a week late, that they’re having at a farmhouse. After the dinner Chris sees Gary’s plans on robbing a bank and is convinced to help Gary and his friends. Over the next week or so, Chris changes his look and gets frustrated with his friends and lashes out. It comes to a head when Lewis has a talk with Luvlee after Chris brings her to the apartment. This is how you learn how Lewis lost his eyesight. The night of the robbery the bank manager tells Chris that he’ll give him a shot at being a teller after the holidays. This makes Chris rethink helping with the robbery. Gary forces Chris to go through with it. After the deputy comes back unexpectedly a shoot out happens which leads to Gary being seriously injured and most of the robbers being killed along with the deputy. Chris leaves in the station wagon with the money. After having a small breakdown, because of the stress of the events that just transpired, Christ heads to his parent’s house and makes a plan using what Lewis had taught him about telling a story. It ends with Chris killing Bones, the only robber not injured, and letting Gary bleed out. The F.B.I. decides that Chris couldn’t have masterminded the events, which is helped by the camera catching them forcing Chris to go through with everything. Chris and Lewis open their restaurant and Chris continues on his recovery.
The production and costume design in the movie is great. The change in costume that Chris goes through is pretty interesting. The costume that Bones has is decidedly sinister. The small sunglasses that he has on all the time really makes you think of someone with soulless eyes. The CG effects are great and the stunt team really kick ass. The car wreck that they do in the movie looks crazy.
The Lookout is a great crime thriller that should be talked about more. I watched it on Showtime Anytime but you can buy it physically or through your digital storefront of choice.