- Movie Rating -

Lookin’ To Get Out (1982)

| October 8, 1982

I have a particular love for movies that take me inside and show me another world, another life, a manner of living that I am not familiar with and I had hoped that Lookin’ To Get Out would do that. This is a movie about a gambling addict named Alex (Jon Voight) who is forced to leave New York City after he loses $10,000 owed to some guys whose specialty is making pretzels out of your bones.  So, he convinces his buddy Jerry (Burt Young) to go with him to Vegas in hopes of playing a colorful con game in hopes of recouping the loss.

That’s a great set-up and if the movie knew what it was doing, then it might have been one of those great insider movies that shows us the ins and outs of the world of con artists and gambling addicts.  But it doesn’t.  The two guys arrive in Las Vegas and the script soft-peddles their predicament by never really being as hard on them as it should be.  They are easily given a room because Jerry is on the Comp List.  Their fortune turns on way too many bits of good luck.  Voight meets a former love played by Ann-Margaret and they are immediately introduced to a master blackjack player who helps them in their scheme.

To be honest, it would have been more fun to watch these guys flail about and suffer a little bit.  They are such magnets for coincidence and good luck that you wonder how Alex ever got 10K in the hole in the first place.  And, of course, the spine-breakers from New York eventually catch up to Alex and Jerry and chase them all over casino.

That’s not what this movie should be about.  There needs to be some personal drama, a constant string of bad luck, a moment when the characters feel alone and scared, perhaps even a moment of clarity or even tragedy.  Frankly, it’s too easy on them.  There are too many spikes of good luck, good fortune quick turns of that make their journey an easy ride.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1982) View IMDB Filed in: Drama