The gimmick of Adam Rifkin’s forgettable Look is that it’s comprised entirely of footage from surveillance cameras, or at least footage from cameras meant to simulate surveillance cameras. So guess what happens in its very first scene? Two teenage girls strip and cavort in a clothing store dressing room! Doesn’t that just shock and arouse you? Allow you to see private events you weren’t meant to see while also forcing you to question your own motivations for watching them? No?
This scene and Look as a whole don’t fly because Rifkin’s film operates, firstly, under a flawed principle and, secondly, flubs any sort of competent execution. The major problem is that Rifkin, writer and director of The Chase and Detroit Rock City, and since consigned to the lower echelons of Hollywood fare like National Lampoon’s Homo Erectus, misunderstands the implications of our contemporary surveillance society. It’s not enough to show people engaging in outrageous, stupid, illicit, or illegal behavior when they think nobody’s looking—scenes of managers screwing their employees in the storeroom, students seducing teachers, and coworkers playing nasty practical jokes may be funny or titillating, but they fail to enlighten us about the increasing ubiquity of technology designed to monitor both the public and private sphere.