Big man on campus/hockey star Chris Pratt’s driving his girl, his best friend, and his best friend’s date to a high school party when a horrific accident destroys the lives of all four of the high school friends. Two perish in the accident and Chris, the driver who was at fault, is left a shell of his former self. Flash-forward four years from the accident and Chris is no longer the stud everyone looked up to in school. He can’t remember things without writing them down – including the simplest tasks. His days consist of going to rehab to learn life skills and his nights are spent working as a janitor at a local bank. And instead of coming home to a hot young thing every night, Chris is living with a sharp-witted blind man (Daniels) who’s better equipped at handling life than he is.
At a bar sucking down a near-beer, Chris runs into a real smooth operator who introduces himself as a friend of Chris’ sister and someone who knew him and looked up to him back before the accident. Gary (Matthew Goode) has a way with women and Chris, whose brain no longer filters inappropriate statements before he can say them out loud, finds Gary’s bad boy demeanor and gorgeous female friends irresistible. Chris becomes attached to ex-stripper Luvlee Lemons (the very sexy Isla Fisher), a member of Gary’s clique who isn’t taken aback when Chris blurts out that he wants to see her naked.
Gordon-Levitt was terrific in Mysterious Skin and Brick and proves with his starring role in The Lookout that he’s in it for the long haul. Playing Chris couldn’t have been easy as the character doesn’t understand or follow half of what’s going on around him. Yet Gordon-Levitt completely transforms into this tragic character, delivering a top notch performance that appears effortless. Surrounded by first rate performances from Jeff Daniels, Matthew Goode, and Isla Fisher, Gordon-Levitt’s take on this dysfunctional young man is completely riveting.
The Bottom Line
There’s a healthy helping of humor tossed into The Lookout, mostly supplied by Jeff Daniels as Gordon-Levitt's wisecracking blind roommate. Writer/rookie director Frank also manages to flesh out each and every one of his characters, even the ones given just a handful of minutes on screen. Frank’s writing is right on, the dialogue rings true, and the film's populated by characters you can easily imagine existing in every town.
The Lookout was directed by Scott Frank and is rated R for language, some violence and sexual content.