Back in December, Target bought out Zellers and as our neighborhood Zellers was cleaning out all of its stock, I went hunting for extra cheap DVDs. In the piles and piles, I found this one. I like Matthew Goode and JGL, so why not?
Director: Scott Frank
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Goode, Jeff Daniels, Isla Fisher, Carla Gugino, Sergio Di Zio
When a tragic accident causes Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to lose every thing he had in his promising future, he has to rebuild it step by step and adapt to being handicapped with his memory. He no longer can sequence his thoughts properly and control his emotions due to damage to his frontal lobes. Due to this, he ends up paired up with a blind man called Lewis (Jeff Daniels) as a means to take care of each other. After a night shift at his job, he meets Gary Spargo, a guy who claims he used to date his sister and praise the success he had in school back in the day before the accident. Gary introduces him to his friends and helps him meet an ex-dancer called Luvlee (Isla Fisher). Eventually, he learns that Gary approached him to manipulate him to join them in their bank heist and be their lookout and teaches him that “Whoever has the money has the power”.
Even after a few days of seeing this, I’m having slightly mixed feelings about this. Don’t get me wrong. Its a decent flick. In fact, for a good part of this drama/crime thriller, I felt that it was alright. Especially since we had to understand what our main character Chris was going through and to understand how his life was run. However, once the whole heist thing goes down, I felt it was a bit more predictable. I had a feeling of what was going to go down and I even figured out some of their lines.
There is one specific element that I’d like to really emphasize on because the movie would’ve been pretty horrible without it was the cast and their characters. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a really good Chris, a guy who has to calm his emotions and deal with the mess he’s made when his brain isn’t really cooperating with him. Even before all the great breakthrough roles he had, this one shows us how promising he is. It helps that everyone else, or at least the other roles were outstanding as well. I’ve always liked Jeff Daniels. Remembering him in Speed makes me love him even more. Now, as Lewis, he plays a tough, sometimes vulgar, sarcastic, but pretty easy going blind guy. He’s extremely chill with everything that Chris does, but uses all his other senses to look out for him.
Matthew Goode pretty much plays the bad guy here. He’s the leader of the heist and he wants the money to have more power. He’s secretive and the moment his Gary Spargo ends up on screen, we start wondering. He’s a suspenseful character, mostly because we’re not completely sure if he’s manipulating Chris or whether he’s really out to help him sincerely and be his friend. Thats the guessing game and the surprises of the movie and he is the main thrill. Of course, except for his other henchman, Bone who really looks creepy and doesn’t talk. That guy had me thinking about what he was there to do every time he popped up.
Isla Fisher plays the lovely Luvlee, an ex-dancer (we never see her dance so we’ll just accept that its the truth) who ends up having a “relationship” with Chris. This wasn’t a big role but its Isla Fisher and I love her charisma on screen. I’ve enjoyed most of the movies with her in it. Most of who Luvlee is isn’t really apparent as we don’t really learn much about her throughout the movie. This also gives her character a little bit of mystery.
This movie is a decent thriller mostly for its characters. The story is slow-paced but for a good part of the first half, it really has us guessing and trying to figure out everyone’s positions as the characters slowly one by one enter the screen. It does drop off a bit at the end however, its worth the watch just to see Matthew Goode in a bad guy role or JGL’s awesomeness.