Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Lookout

Go To

"I have the money, I have the power!"

The Lookout (2007) is a crime drama about a brain-damaged man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) trying to lead a normal life and getting caught up in a heist of the bank at which he's the night janitor.

The film contains examples of:

  • Big Fancy House: Chris's parents' house is huge and denotes their sizable wealth.
  • Blind Seer: Jeff Daniels' character, Lewis, is probably the smartest character in the movie and has seemed to have learned a lot from becoming blind after a meth accident.
  • Briefcase Blaster: Chris shoots Bone with the shotgun hidden inside the duffel bag full of cash without taking it out of the bag.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The card in Chris's wallet that explains his condition allows him to get away from a cop pulling him over while Chris has the money from the robbery in his trunk.
    • Also the literal shotgun from his parents' house.
    • "Just start at the end and work backwards."
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Chris used to go hunting with his family.
  • Covers Always Lie: The DVD case promises "a twist you can't believe". The movie itself is fairly straightforward. Why this was added is anyone's guess... probably trying to cash in on the similarities between the main characters of this film and Memento.
  • Crapsack World: To try to convince Chris to join him, Spargo points out how much of Chris's life is this trope now— His rich family have given up on him. He cannot get a good job. His boss treats him like crap. He cannot get a girlfriend. Although the ending showed that it wasn't as Spargo tried to paint it for Chris.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ted, AKA Officer Donut, seems like a goofy, gullible comic relief character. When he realizes the bank is being robbed, he manages to shoots three of the robbers and kill two of them, despite being outgunned four to one.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Deputy Ted stops by the bank on his rounds each night to share a box of donuts with Chris. The crooks casing the bank start referring to him as 'Deputy Donut'.
  • Hostage for MacGuffin: Trading Lewis for the money at the end.
  • Inside Job: The entire plot revolves around a bank robbery where the would-be robbers have to convince Chris, a young brain-damaged guy who works there as the janitor, to cooperate with them. They do this through a combination of the promise of financial reward, painting it as something daring to do to get out of his currently crappy life, and some feigned romantic interest from their pretty female accomplice.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Chris using his gun he had hidden in the bag.
  • Key Under the Doormat: Actually it's in his shoe, but close enough.
  • Memory Gambit: Chris may or may not have forgotten where he hid the money.
  • Note to Self: Chris takes his little notebook everywhere with him.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Well, sort of invoked. Because while Spargo and gang were correct about Chris being brain damaged, they were wrong to think that he was unable or unwilling to fight back because of it. Chris may or may not be using this to his advantage.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Subverted. Even though Spargo comments that the bullet he took from the robbery 'went right through', his health gets progressively worse until the climax.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Before the events of the movie, Chris was this, driving with the lights off in a unlit highway.
  • Sexy Mentor: Chris has a crush on his case manager (played by Carla Gugino), who used to be a former model. She doesn't think it's a good idea. Due to his condition, this also causes him to blurt out stuff like "I think about fucking you all the time" in public. She does understand, though.
  • Sinister Shades: The black-clad Bone, the most brutal of the bank robbers, is never seen without without his sunglasses.
  • Sliding Scale of Law Enforcement: The sheriff's deputy is on the very positive end of this scale, delivering donuts to Chris and being a badass when the situation turns grim.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Bone is never seen without his Sinister Shades, even in the basement of the farmhouse or during the back robbery which takes place at night.
  • Title Drop: "That's the most important job of all.. you're the lookout"