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|Index||11 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I enjoyed this french action packed thriller. I would say it is a
strange film, weird. Not because of the acting or directing, but
because of the story itself. When the movie begins, you can't guess
what's going to happen next. No way. There are many subplots and also
sub characters. and some sequences seem have been let on the cutting
Some lines sound strange; for instance, what the hell a character like Oilivier Gourmet's one - a sadist - would have done with the hoods who capture Mathieu Kassovitz, just before Francis Renaud saves him?
It remains unexplained...
Yes, I consider this is a weird film, but I like this. This is unusual. I love this kind of story lines.
The ending is rather exciting but although predictable.
I guess the director was influenced by Jean Pierre Melville, he picked Bourvil's character's name from LE CERCLE ROUGE - commissaire Matteï. Daniel Auteuil's character is interesting in his hopeless quest of vengeance.
A bittersweet film that deserves to be watched.
I gave it 5 and that is generous, considering this film does not
achieve many of the goals it sets itself: it is not really suspenseful,
the characterization is often vague, the plot is not clear at many
points (too many characters don't improve matters). There is a
Hollywood gloss over this picture that depresses me; surely a French
film can call upon a tradition of thrillers dating back to the post-war
years: Le salaire de la peur for example. I thought of Melville of
course (Le deuxieme soufflé and Le cercle rouge) and Alain Corneau
(Police Python 357). The kids who would troop off to see this one will
be quickly bored.
There is little point in trying to single out any of the actors for praise or blame; they seem interchangeable in their roles. Daniel Auteuil looks glum most of the time--did they not pay him enough? Olivier Gourmet from those great Dardenne movies promised much, but his part was clumsily written and not really understandable.
It had to happen: After watching many good french crime films, I found the first stinker. It's the worst kind of film, thinking it's smart when it's not. The lookout is just plain stupid. The plot has so many holes that it looks like swiss cheese. The film is totally unbalanced, trying to be many things at once: a cop film, a crime film about bank robbers, a serial killer film, a jail film and even a whodunit. The characters are weak and cliché. It sucks because the cast was good. I wonder why Daniel Auteuil made this awful film. He deserves better. I was misled by Auteuil and Placido (Romanzo Criminale is highly recommended). But why they turned this mockery of a script into a film is just beyond me. I hope the screenwriters didn't give up their day jobs.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To some extent, the previous posted reviews demonstrate an attempt to save the movie from a harsh criticism. The movie indeed gathers a general vote of 5 out of 10. Sadly, this is justified. You could say the actors are well directed, which is true. D. Auteuil does a smart job, N. Kassovitz is well managed. Also, the bank robbing scene pompously shown in the trailer is intense. Finally the global scenery in Paris is a well depicted. These elements however are not sufficient to make a movie worth a watch - or worth a better vote - without a story. The numerous inconsistencies do not help. I won't unveil any spoiler, but you will ask yourself oh so many times about the storyline being so lazily drawn up, and about the characters' conduct; and you will feel cheated as well. This movie indeed resorts way too much to ellipsis to avoid explanation when it does not simply goes against any obvious choice that a reasonable man would make. And forget about the trailer and the first scene: le guetteur (the sniper) is not a sharpshooter movie, neither is it about the psychology of these type of soldier. It is an excuse to develop a police investigation out of nowhere, on which you will probably still ask yourself how it came up at the end credits.
I'll admit, THE LOOKOUT starts off on a strong footing, with an
expertly-choreographed piece of action charting the fall-out from a
bank robbery. It harks back to the glory days of a similar sequence in
HEAT, and has you on the edge of your seat as the minutes stretch out.
Unfortunately, once this is over, the rest of the film never even comes
close to that quality.
The direction of the film is to capture the disintegration of a group of bank robbers as they variously betray and bump each other off, while a dogged cop remains hot on their heels. And sadly, it's nowhere near as interesting or exciting as it sounds. This is one of those films that fails to feature even a single remotely sympathetic character, so that you wonder throughout why you're watching.
That wouldn't matter if the calibre of the script and film-making were exceptional, but the truth is that they aren't. There's a kind of humdrum, seen-it-all-before sense of weariness about the whole production, best summed up by Daniel Auteuil's yawn-worthy cop. The sub-plots are muddled and the characters uninteresting, so that by the time the end eventually comes around you'll be wondering why you're supposed to care.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning
** Sunday Night * Monday Morning
Detective Mattei (Daniel Auteuil) is on the trail of Vincent Kaminski (Mathieu Kassovitz) a rooftop sniper who took out a bunch of police officers while a daring bank robbery was in progress. But as he digs deeper in to the case, he uncovers even more dark, disturbing secrets.
It always seems to be the case that the continentals seem to make the better quality films, in terms of writing and general production values, and if their market doesn't get the best exposure, it certainly receives the greatest critical acclaim and there are quite a few who want to imitate it. They seem to come up with all the original ideas, that's for sure, and that's something Hollywood certainly can't claim. This familiar truth may be the case with The Lookout, even if it's not maybe the best example, perhaps.
It's an intricate, absorbing thriller, quite faultless but still unremarkable, but you can't help but get the feeling that someone, sometime will try and do it again. ***
In some ways, 'The Lookout' reminded me of the truly awful 'Primer', in
that there seemed to be a lot going on, but with the characters only
allowed brief scenes and the briefest of conversations to clue you in
as to what it was, the odds of you making sense of it all before the
credits rolled were so long as to become infinitesimal. Maybe that's
just as well, because I suspect neither the director, scriptwriters, or
editor(S) had managed to themselves fully join the dots before they'd
committed their work to celluloid.
The opening heist and Paris city-centre shoot-out, and especially the intriguing use of flashback prologue that preceded it provided enough of a teaser to buy one's interest for at least a good half-hour, but ultimately it only served to leave me cheated, in the way the cruellest of con-tricks does. Successive scenes of gloomy late-night action, and apparent cross and double-cross, might look great on paper, but ultimately, not enough to make one even consider giving it a second - or even third - watch to try to pick up on what you missed, because you quickly realise that what you might have missed was never actually there in the first place.
I'd officially given up on French crime cinema about 5 years ago - or whenever the over-hyped and overrated 'The Prophet' was released. I'd determined that all the younger directors were following some template, which usually featured sombre, moody, colours; savage violence - usually including superfluous and titillating misogyny - and slick fast-paced productions designed to compensate for plot-holes.
'The Lookout' has all of these - and then some - but 'The Lookout' trumps them all because it has the 'Primer' factor that the other films lacked: "Regardez, mes amis: you don't need to have any coherent plot, because you can use bikini-brief scenes, and half-begun sentences that explain nothing!"
This film might be the first truly 'Second Unit' film: it's all about the action, and the slick, fast-paced non-plot, and location shooting. Yes,it features Daniel Auteuil and Mathieu Kassovitz who've done good work in the past, but their presence was required solely to sell the film to a baker's dozen of international financiers. Acting-wise, their presence was superfluous. The presence of so many technicians who are experts in their field might have provided at least a temporary boon to the French film industry, but ultimately I fear it will only become self-defeating, as it will turn off potential viewers.
Jean-Pierre Melville must be turning in his grave! (or even pirouetting...!)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What's better than one French policier? Answer: another French policier. If this falls slightly below recent efforts like 36, Quai des Orfevres, it's still far from chopped liver. Daniel Auteuil, packing a tad more weight than of late - possibly for his role of Cesar in the great Pagnol trilogy that he is remaking even as we speak, both directing and taking on the role created by the immortal Raimu - plays the vigilante cop determined to catch the sniper who took out half his squad. He tells us this in an ultimately meaningless opening sequence when he has the sniper in an interview room. We then cut back to two days previously when Auteuil had his squad waiting to catch a gang of bank robbers red- handed. They would have done, too, had it not been for the sniper, Kominsky, who picked off the cops from a rooftop. After this things get a tad convoluted and if it weren't for stiffs piling up we may well wonder who is doing all the coming and going. It's shot in a drab non- color color with blue the predominant shade which suits the downbeat tone. Worth a look.
I'm being generous, I know, but consider the misleading 5.something score for this movie to be an anomaly. I first thought this was a 'Res Dogs' copy but it developed into a thoughtful thriller with enough plot to make it compelling. The absence of an obvious 'hero' figure is, perhaps, an obstacle to begin, but a strong ensemble cast contributes to maintaining interest in the conclusion of the movie. The question at the heart of the film, if there is one, may lie with the motivation of the Policeman, rather than the identity of the traitor. A genuinely classy European thriller of a type that can no longer be considered rare ( tell No-One, The Secrets...) but which is well worth a look.
Freshly absorbing and intriguing, confusing at times, but eventually gets his goal: keep the edge of their seats. Occasionally gives the impression that the movie tries to tell two different stories or more and some subjects seem not to transcend in the development of the story... say that the ending was predictable, which is hard, I am of the idea that would have given more credibility to the story, the fact that criminals were in some Balkan region and not an Italian, however, at the end get absorb you. A good work of Michele Placido (aka Corrado Cattani), but can still offer something more, has the ability. Great collaboration of Mathieu Kassovitz (The Crimson Rivers).
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