The Lookout (DVD)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is surely one of the more interesting young actors in Hollywood today. Having worked his way up the food chain in roles that demanded little, it was last year’s painfully hip and ultra self-aware detective story, Brick, that marked him out. Although The Lookout lacks in several departments, and fails to match the college set gumshoe movie that has become a cult favourite, it does have enough charm of its own to warrant a second look.

Following a drunken night of excess, Chris (Gordon-Levitt) and his friends are involved in a tragic car crash. The accident leaves him physically and mentally impaired and unable to perform complex tasks. Eventually he finds himself working as a night janitor in a small town bank and shares an apartment with blind friend Jeff Daniels. His life is both mundane yet surreal and when a man claiming to be an old friend from college introduces himself, Chris is unable to tell if he is genuine or not. Things move quickly when Chris meets Luvlee Lemons (Fisher), a girl who takes a surprising interest in our central character. However, it turns out Chris’s new friend (Goode) is after more than just companionship, leaving the janitor struggling to walk away from an increasingly violent bank heist…

The heist movie has become a tedious genre due to the sheer volume of films we have seen recently. Be they concentrating on the good guys or painting vivid villains, it is hard to get a new take on the central idea of a break-in. The Lookout fails to deliver anything original in that department — but it does, to its credit, spend a lot of time working and building up our hero. Yes, some of the plotting may be obvious, but Gordan-Levitt manages to infuse enough energy throughout to make us what happens in the end. Again, the ending may be a little rushed and you might feel like Chris when trying to remember exactly what happened, but you will not regret the effort.

EXTRAS Nope, not a sausage

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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