Now playing in cinemas nationwide
I don’t know how he does it, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt has some of the best taste and the best luck in all of pseudo-independent Hollywood. It was not all that long ago that he was making his mark in lighthearted (and lucrative) fare like NBC’s “3rd Rock from the Sun” and “10 Things I Hate About You.” A few short years ago, however, he stepped over to the artsy version of the dark side, in films like Gregg Araki’s “Mysterious Skin” (hold your breath and check it out if you haven’t already), Focus Features’ “Brick,” and now, “The Lookout.” Here he stars as a young man named Chris Pratt who has fallen from grace after a car wreck that tossed his young body 90 feet through the air. Gone are the glory days on the high school hockey team, and the comfort of his parents’ upper class digs. Now Pratt must take daily courses to rehabilitate his foggy short-term memory and works the night shift as a janitor in a small Missouri bank. His only acquaintance to speak of is a blind man from his program (played with great compassion and humor by Jeff Daniels). It’s all very humdrum, woe-is-me until, until he is quickly and inexplicably drawn into a new social circle – supposedly by chance. Among the new chums are Gary Spargo (an exquisitely devilish performance by Matthew Goode), Luvlee (the beguiling Isla Fisher), and a few token creepy guys. It all comes out soon enough, however, that the whole thing is a set-up. He has been courted to work as the lookout guy while they rob the very bank where he mops the floor. This turn between the two acts of the film is the only spot in the story that feels a mite awkward. Throughout this young man’s journey, a personal drama flows seamlessly into a taut adventure. It really is the best kind of thriller one could hope for, complete with a fantastic script (from writer/director, Frank Scott who did “Out of Sight”), a pulse-pounding score, and a brilliant human drama brought to life by this remarkable cast.