Picks and Pans Review: Lookin' to Get Out

UPDATED 11/08/1982 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/08/1982 at 01:00 AM EST

It's not much of a plot: Jon Voight and Burt Young (again) are two New York gamblers on the run from loan sharks. They fly off to Vegas and with the help of a waiter with a system try to hit the jackpot in a no-limit blackjack game. Complications ensue in Vegas when Voight meets old flame Ann-Margret, an ex-hooker now living with wealthy hotel owner Richard Bradford and a young daughter, who turns out to be Voight's child. The climax, smacking uncomfortably of The Sting, offers little surprise. As star, co-producer and co-writer (with Al Schwartz), Voight is obviously after something deeper than the TV movie surface implies. His bravery extends beyond casting his ex-wife (Marcheline Bertrand), daughter (Angelina) and girlfriend (Stacey Pickren) in the same film. There is dedication and skill here, and Voight's energy gives the film backbone. But Lookin' To Get Out never makes it as caper, comedy or character study. Flexed for spontaneity, the result is mostly strain. Despite cogent supporting work by Young and a remarkably subdued, poignant Ann-Margret, plus sympathetic direction by Hal (Coming Home) Ashby, the script dribbles away its potential with repetition and hokum. But Voight's passion allows for one distinction: Lookin' To Get Out may be a failure, but it is an honorable one. (R)

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