“He who has the money has the power!” screams Chris Pratt, a former high school hockey star handicapped in a tragic car accident. The film “The Lookout” plays out the story of his unlikely alliance with a crack team of determined bank robbers when his promising career on ice is suddenly cut short. The former athlete goes to work as a janitor in a local bank, but cleaning floors soon gives way to criminal enterprise when he is recruited to help clean out the very bank that employs him.
The prime ingredient that screenwriter and first-time director Scott Frank (“Minority Report”) did not fail to include was a cast of breathtaking and talented actors. Veteran actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“Brick”) portrays lead character Pratt in stunning perfection. His ability to become his character in each and every scene was rather outstanding, though his past success definitely preceded him. Frank wrote an emotionally diverse and difficult character to portray, but Levitt pulled it off, managing to show the roller coaster of pain and desolation in which Pratt lived. As usual, Jeff Daniels (“Good Night and Good Luck”) also delivered a great performance as Pratt’s live-in roommate and close pal Lewis.
Since Daniels and Levitt always give great performances, the big surprises of the film came from Matthew Goode (“Match Point”) and Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”). It was refreshing to see Goode rely on a feature besides his charming good looks to pull through a scene and to see him play a completely different character than his usual choices. Goode shined brightly as the film’s antagonist Gary and proved himself as more than just that “cute British guy.” The audience was most taken aback to see Fisher play a sane woman, as opposed to her “Wedding Crashers” character. (I don’t think we will ever forget that one). “The Lookout” was a great choice for her and an even better choice since she did well. So if you need a reason to see this film, it is mainly to see a cast of talented, yet extremely underrated, artists perfect their craft.
In addition to the phenomenal acting, the film itself was put together well. Besides the fact that Pratt’s condition was similar to “Memento,” it was completely different from a lot of movies made these days. The cinematography was edgy and edited very well, and that’s not discounting the precise sound editing. But perhaps the best technical quality was the script itself.
Frank has a history for writing some of the better screenplays in Hollywood and this is one of them for sure. The dialogue flows naturally and still manages to be beautifully written, which is extremely rare.
If you don’t go see this movie, you are missing out because not only is it a technical marvel, but it is entertaining. There isn’t a moment when you want to get up to go to the bathroom because the film manages to mesmerize each and every person. During Easter weekend, make it a point to go and keep your eyes glued directly to the screen.
5 out of 5 stars