Glory days, in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days
Fly over country. The Great Plains. Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a "Richie $ Rich," Varsity Hockey Star. Got it made. Got the car. 2001 Ford Mustang. Got the babe Kelly. Got the top down. Speeding across a Kansas prairie, with another couple in the backseat, on a two lane highway. Watching the fireflies. He turns off the headlights for better effect. What they see looks like a billion star warp drive on the Starship Enterprise. What they don't see is the New Holland TR86 combine stalled in the middle of the road. Head-on!!!!
Directed and written by Scott Frank ( director: A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), writer: Dead Again (1991), Get Shorty (1995)). Excellent cinematography was by Alar Kivilo (A Simple Plan (1998)) and the music was by James Newton Howard (Collateral (2004), Falling Down (1993), Night and the City (1992), 8 Million Ways to Die (1986)).
The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Brick (2005)) as Chris Pratt, Jeff Daniels (Something Wild (1986)) as Lewis, Matthew Goode as Gary Spargo, Isla Fisher (Nocturnal Animals (2016)) as Luvlee Lemons, Sergio Di Zio as Deputy Ted, Greg Dunham as Bone, Morgan Kelly as Marty, and Aaron Berg as Cork.
|Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)|
|Lewis (Jeff Daniels (Something Wild)|
|Deputy "Doughnut" Ted (Sergio Di Zio)|
|Luvlee Lemons (Isla Fisher)|
|Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode)|
When Chris woke up out of his coma he had frontal lobe damage. His girlfriend Kelly has lost her leg and their two friends are dead. Chris has anterograde amnesia, and must keep a notebook to remind himself of his daily routines.
|Daily routine notebook|
As part of his rehabilitation into society the Independent Life Skills Center teams him up with a blind apartment mate Lewis (Jeff Daniels). He also has a job as a night janitor cleaning up at a bank. Besides Lewis his only other friend is Ted (Sergio Di Zio), a goofy sheriff's deputy who brings him a doughnut when he passes by the bank on his night time rounds.
Chris Pratt: I want to be who I was.
Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode) a skell, is planning a bank robbery. After scouting all the banks in the vicinity with his gang, he zeroes in on the bank that Chris works in. Spargo knew Chris from High School, he was a few grades ahead of him, and he knows about Chris' accident and mental impairment. Spargo figures out a plan using his ex stripper girlfriend Luvlee Lemons as the jeune femme fatale bait. Luvlee hit's on Chris, fucks him stupid enough to accept the sleazball gang as his new cool friends, and get's him to go along with their plans to crack the bank's safe. Chris will let them in and act as the lookout while they break through the concrete wall and torch the rebar to get inside the safe.
When the night of the robbery arrives Chris changes his mind and tells them he doesn't want to go through with it. Too late, sucker, they put a gun to his head and make him go in through the hole they made and help empty the safe. When Ted arrives with his doughnut he bangs on the door but Chris is still inside the safe. Seeing the reflections of the robbers hiding behind the columns Ted reacts and all hell breaks loose. Of course everything goes beautifully Noirsville!
|Bone (Greg Dunham)|
The Lookout is an excellent example of the correct way to create a Neo Noir. All the characters are either everyday schmucks, just getting by survivors, or small time lowlife losers. People you can identify with. No fancy cars or car chases, no explosions, no machinegun firefights, the direction is tight, clean, and simple.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is excellent in his portrayal of the damaged protagonist. Jeff Daniels' Lewis is quite entertaining as the I may be blind but I wasn't born yesterday blindman. He senses that something is way off. Gary Spargo plays the sleazeball card pimping out his girlfriend and cruelly bullshitting Chris into feeling he's an accepted part of the crew. Screencaps are from the Echo Bridge Home Entertainment DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011. A masterpiece 10/10.