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Plastic surgeon Larry Roberts performs a series of minor alterations on a group of models who are seeking perfection. The operations are a resounding success. But when someone starts killing his beautiful patients, Dr. Roberts becomes suspicious and starts investigating. What he uncovers are the mysterious - and perhaps murderous - activities of a high-tech computer company called Digital Matrix.
Detective Looker walks into the Looker Lab at Looker Digital Matrix Model Agency Inc. "They've got some real lookers here!"
"Look out, Looker!" a flash goes off.
But seriously, this movie is fun. It's a Michael Crichton speculative sci-fi thriller that tries on sleazy 80s sex thriller and Videoderome like pearl clutching at the state of television advertising, without ever fully committing to being either. The plot details get fuzzy as it turns into a rote cat and mouse thriller, but it has at least one very cool conceit that I won't spoil here. Albert Finney, playing a rock star plastic surgeon, seems confused for much of the movie. Take a shot every time someone says "looker" and die by minute 23.
Looker really sizzles once the sci-fi blackout spectral-wave VFX pistol knocks jabronies into kingdom come. I loved the inventive cautionary media worship digs as well. Like the hyper-specific body modifications down to a fractal of nose cartilage that made me feel like a jumble of bric a brac in a skin suit. And especially the final act featuring oodles of '80s New Wave Futurist green grid floor and clips from computer perfect mind-penetrating commercial slop!
Even though this movie was written and directed by Crichton, I couldn't shake the sinister cynical consumer malaise vibe of Ballard. Sure, the nuts and bolts specifics of computer operating systems and Hollyweird glamor hardball tether sinister businessmen to more concrete what ifs. And Crichton seems more interested in the how than why. But peel the skin off this Looker®, and you're left with the same paranoid corporate nesting doll that drives '80s sci-fi media chill bumpers from Videodrome to They Live.
for being incredibly lame but so earnest and crammed full of surprisingly beautiful images that are much more graceful than anything crichton has ever written,
for preceding a hundred other movies that tread over the same territory in smarter ways and being more lovable than many of them,
for treating models as people worth taking down an evil corporation in to defend, and hopping or gliding over their nude or scantily clad bodies with respectful admiration rather than leering, and treating them as pawns in a cruel world that demands their perfection instead of narcissistic morons,
for a stunt near the beginning that gave me chills and chills again when a couple people in the crowd cheered and laughed,…
Ludicrous and clever paranoid sci-fi by Michael Crichton. Albert Finney is the plastic surgeon specialized in fine tuning already beautiful actresses/models who stumbles in a conspiracy by a shadowy corporation (lead by a somnambulist James Coburn) after some of his clients start to commit suicides. Somewhere between a Beverly Hills Mabuse and Resident Evil: Retribution, this is a key 80’s film: virtual bodies, virtual images, test market empty suit virtual politician and even virtual guns that leave real carnage. It is all absurd and by know horrifying given how true it feels. Chrichton, an underrated director, serves everything with lots of style the more artificial the better.
I love Michael Crichton and I love the idea of this film, and it would probably have been a nice Michael Crichton book. But instead he turned it into a movie. Why? I don't know, but I don't necessarily think that it's bad, it's just not good (or what could have been great). I think the problem is that Michael Crichton (no matter how brilliant he is) isn't a strong director. If anything, he's very mediocre and isn't very good at directing actors.
The story and tech is very M.C., and that's a strong part for this film. I just wished that it went more in-depth with the technology and corporate/political corruption the story was based around. Instead we are…
Personally, I've never been that big of a fan of Michael Crichton the author. Michael Crichton the director however, created for himself a small but decent resume.
Looker, for instance is a terrific little piece of prophetic science fiction. In it, Albert Finney plays Larry Roberts, a Hollywood plastic surgeon specializing in fine-tuning the features of actresses and models. When a series of recent clients are reported as the victims of suspicious suicides, Roberts becomes a murder suspect. Soon, he begins an investigation of his own into what's really going on. He discovers a high-tech tv-advertising agency working on virtual-reality styled commercials and hypnotically-induced suggestion. Needless to say, corporate entities and politicians alike are eager to get their hands on…
Another example that shows me that Crichton was a capable director who knew this type of material. Here we have a science fiction thriller that satirizes society's high beauty standards, television and advertising. Solid direction of a common issue in our world that's still relevant. Final act is a bit bonkers however, but it still has that Crichton feel throughout.
Pseudo-scientific piffle about the machinations of the head of a conglomerate, played by James Coburn in the desiccated-amoral-old-bastard manner of John Huston. This rascal's laboratories are developing computer-generated images to make hypnotic TV commercials for political as well as economic use. To the rescue of civilization as we know it comes Albert Finney, like a lame tortoise; boredom seems to have seeped into Finney's muscles and cells-he's sinking under the weight of it, and the only part of him still alert is his wiry hair. He plays an eminent plastic surgeon who has "perfected" several women models according to mathematically correct specifications supplied by Coburn's lab; a couple of them come to mystifying violent ends-which are, unfortunately, still mystifying when…
LOVE this film!
a film featuring the old guy who bit the soap in Super Troopers is a plastic surgery crime detective hero and faces off with a collective of TEH worst-aim shooters in a tension-less, unintentional slow-mo anti-climatic chase that is actually 70% of the movie.
somewhere in there is like, satire on Americans and tv commercials that is still relevant to this day cuz duh we're all sheeple.
I liked the sets tho.
It's a fun thriller with some interesting science fiction-meets-cult weirdness themes, but man that third act really gets silly.
It's still entertaining, and Susan Dey is indeed a LOOKER.
What a beautiful looking piece of shit. That's probably too harsh but this film looks so amazing but yet so boring. The cinematography, the sets & soundtrack is great, so is the sound design, besides that there's not much to talk about.
Would have worked better as a Get Smart episode. Maxwell Smart fending off invisible punches in a lab; 99 going undercover as a commercial model; kaos on the highway; kaos in the studio; 99 handcuffed ...I can see it now
1 star for the handshake/gunshake ( classic Get Smart )
1 star for the lightgun craziness
1 star for the inept evil thug guy
it gets better every time
Michael Crichton's lesser known thriller starring Albert Finney, Susan Dey, and James Coburn. The film comments on media, advertising, TV's effects on the populace, and a ridiculous standard of beauty.
Worth a watch if you enjoyed Westworld and Runaway.