Complete A-Z list

Lookout, The


Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeff Daniels, Isla Fisher, Carla Gugino, Matthew Goode, Alberta Watson, Bruce McGill

Director: Scott Frank

Gordon-Levitt is a good actor but, despite any number of leading roles, he hasn't become a 'name' attraction. Someone long ago in Hollywood complained that a teen actress would never make it big 'because all she can do is act' and the same could apply here, as Gordon-Levitt continues to choose projects that demonstrate his skills, but don't show an individual personality, and have only small chances of attracting a paying public.

Now if he'd played the Justin Long part in Die Hard 4.0...but, hey, this isn't what Gordon-Levitt's about.

Here he's cast as Chris, epileptic and angry at the world since a car crash (his fault), which killed two of his passengers and maimed the third. Unable to get a decent job, he's been 'turned down more times than the beds at Holiday Inn' and now works as the night janitor at a local bank. As soon as you see this set-up you know Chris is going to be involved in a robbery, and so it proves.

Approached in a bar by the dangerous Gary - unreconisable Brit actor Goode, who's responsible for what edginess the film has - Chris is soon part of a gang that includes his girlfriend (Fisher) and the psychotic Bone (Greg Dunham). Chris's part is just as inside man and lookout, but when the bank manager offers him a job as a teller, he wants out - and everything goes pear-shaped.

A goodish little film, but this type of mini-thriller needs to be close to outstanding to pull an audience in.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 29 Oct 2007