• Publication date: August 19, 2011

It Only Takes a Second to Destroy a Lifetime The Lookout: A Tale of Morality & Perseverance

Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was a promising teenage hockey player from a prominent family. The future seemed inevitably bright for him until a childish car stunt ruined his life, and ended the lives of two others. While driving his shiny Camaro down a pitch-black rural road, Chris tries to impress his girlfriend, Kelly (Laura Vandervoort) and two other passengers by driving without headlights. Things go smooth for a short time, but he fails to see a combine harvester stopped in the middle of the road, and subsequently strikes it at full speed.

Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was a promising teenage hockey player from a prominent family. The future seemed inevitably bright for him until a childish car stunt ruined his life, and ended the lives of two others. While driving his shiny Camaro down a pitch-black rural road, Chris tries to impress his girlfriend, Kelly (Laura Vandervoort) and two other passengers by driving without headlights. Things go smooth for a short time, but he fails to see a combine harvester stopped in the middle of the road, and subsequently strikes it at full speed.

The car is shattered and so is the young man's future. For the next few years Chris is confined to a hospital bed after suffering massive head injuries. Fortunately he is not paralyzed, but he incurs a permanent case of amnesia; more specifically, Chris can remember events, but not necessarily their chronology. That means simple tasks like finding one's keys are constantly difficult for him.

In another sad turn of events Chris' wealthy family has for all intents and purposes abandoned him. He lives alone with Lewis (Jeff Daniels), a blind man and companion who helps the former hockey champ reconstruct his thoughts. Lewis eventually suggests that Chris begin carrying a notebook where he details not just what tasks need to be completed, but also what he should have been doing both before and after beginning a particular task. Given both men's handicaps they have an especially non-judgmental relationship, a quality seldom present in a society obsessed with self-image.

Despite Chris' condition and the availability of disability benefits he insists on living a productive life. His inconsistent memory prevents him from attending college or obtaining a high paying job; nonetheless he works each night at a local bank sweeping its floors, dreaming of one day becoming a teller � no matter how unlikely that may be. While life is not perfect for the custodian it is at least tolerable. Like any man, however, Chris would like to have a woman in his life. So when an old high school pal named Gary Spargo (Matthew Goode) attempts to hook him up with Luvlee Lemons (Isla Fisher), a former stripper, it is a unique opportunity.

Luvlee, Gary, and his buddies begin spending more time with Chris, and he finally has someone other than Lewis to hang out with. His new girlfriend seems infatuated with him, though she begins planting seeds of economic inadequacy in his head, reinforcing his new insecurity with mantras such as, "the money is the power." That's when Gary and his gang ask Chris to help rob the bank where he works; all the meek janitor needs to do is let the guys in. Luvee, who is actually in cohorts with the men, insists that the heist is his ultimate ticket to paradise after years of misery. Eventually Chris succumbs to the pressure, but will his fantasies finally become reality?

The Lookout's soundtrack contains tracks by some of indie rock's most prominent bands such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, My Morning Jacket, and The Black Keys. Critical response to the picture was extremely positive, earning it an 85% fresh rating amongst Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.

Year: 2007

Duration: 99 minutes

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Starring:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Jeff Daniels

Matthew Goode

Isla Fisher

Bruce McGill

Director: Scott Frank

Rating: Rated R for explicit language, some violence, and sexual content.