Chris "Slapshot" Pratt whose once-bright future
has been dimmed by a head injury, is a night janitor at a
bank. Lonely and frustrated, Chris falls prey to a con man's
seductive promise of romance and a better life and agrees
to help rob the bank where he works. Filled with heart-pounding
action, edge-of-your-seat suspense and a twist you'll never
It’s such a pity local audiences didn’t manage
to catch this well-made thriller on the big screens. Fear
not though, because of the availability of DVDs, you can now
watch this intelligently tense and sincerely heartfelt movie
at the comfort of your own home.
Opening with literally a bang, we see Joseph
Gordon-Levitt (Mysterious Skin, Brick) getting into a car
accident and injures his brain. With his life turned upside
down, he works as a night janitor at a bank and eventually
becomes involved in a bank robbery.
While first-time director Scott Frank’s
self-written screenplay does not sound too different from
other conventional dramas out there, the approach to making
this movie is definitely worth commending. Having written
screenplays for movies like Get Shorty (1995) and Minority
Report (2002), Frank has sharply integrated the elements of
a bank heist with an interesting back story of Gordon-Levitt’s
brain damage to very good effect. The result is an innovative
tale of living with guilt, letting go of the past and moving
on for the future.
Having seen Gordon-Levitt’s heart-aching
performance as an abused boy in Mysterious Skin (2004), his
performance here did not disappoint either. The vulnerability
and defenselessness of his character came through strongly,
and one can easily empathize with the poor boy’s situation.
Couple that with the reliable Jeff Daniels (Good Night, and
Good Luck, Infamous) as a blind man and the charismatic Matthew
Goode (Match Point, Imagine Me & You) as a conniving crook,
and you’d have an ensemble of fine actors to engage
you for the movie’s runtime of 99 minutes.
And with good casting of actors, all that
is needed is a tight and inventive story that works for both
the thinking viewer who wants to be entertained and the viewer
who wants a firmly well-crafted thriller. With James Newton
Howard’s (Lady in the Water, Blood Diamond) nuanced
music underscore and Atar Kivilo’s (The Ice Harvest,
The Lake House) grounded cinematography, you’ll be satisfied
both in the visual and audio departments.
is nothing more satisfying than a suspenseful movie that keeps
you at the edge of your seat while making you reflect on your
self-being long after the credits roll, and this movie has
done one great job.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains two substantially informative
featurettes. In the nine-minute “Behind The
Mind Of Chris Platt”, a clean-cut Gordon-Levitt
talks about how he created the persona for his role in the
movie. The engaging actor tells us about how he hung up with
people with brain injuries to do justice to his character.
In the 20-minute “Sequencing The Lookout: Making-Of
Featurette”, the filmmakers talk about how
the movie was almost not made after a few years’ delay.
Also, Daniels tells us how he does research to play a blind
man very convincingly. The “Audio Commentary
with Writer/Director Scott Frank and Director Of Photography
Alar Kivilo” has the two humble men talking
about how Frank the “rookie” made several mistakes
on set, and how Kivilo made the film look good by using a
new video camera, as opposed to the traditional film reels.
There are also “Sneak Peeks”
of DVDs of TV series like Lost, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives.
The disc’s visual transfer makes enhances your viewing
pleasure of Kivilo’s steady cinematography, while the
movie’s audio soundtrack is available in 5.1 Dolby English,
Japanese, Thai and Portuguese.
by John Li