Friday, August 17, 2007

The Lookout

The Lookout is a well paced, solid thriller. This movie is an argument for the establishment of "rules" in screenwriting. This is Scott Franks first time directing. He has written such films as "Out of Sight" and "Minority Report". Every scene is clear and drives the story forward. There are no ambiguous characters (except the main one at times). There are three acts and the first one sets up everything well. It sets up the characters and the conflict without slowing the pace or feeling expository. (Joseph Gordon Leavitt plays Chris Prat, a highschool jock who loses brain functionality including memory and has a problem with sequencing) Overall the movie works very well and demonstrates how the established "rules" of screenwriting will serve a story. However there are times when the movie feels a little safe because it never breaks or reinvents those rules. For example: there is a scene where the main character, Chris Pratt picks up a rifle at his parents house. The gun is introduced by a closeup. The "rules" would dictate that at some point in the movie, that gun will have to go off or the audience will be disappointed....and so it followed. This strict adherence to the "rules" of screenwriting might make a film feel like it is on rails. However, (without giving anything away) Scott Frank uses this to his advantage by making sequencing a dominant theme in the movie which is Chris Pratt's problem. In the same way he has to deal with his sequencing problem the audience must sort of do thier own sequencing. It's a cool idea but not fully realized. Still, I thought it was a solid movie.


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