The Loft, 2015.
Directed by Erik Van Looy.
Starring Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Matthias Schoenaerts, Eric Stonestreet and Isabel Lucas.
Five married guys conspire to secretly share a penthouse loft in the city–a place where they can carry out hidden affairs and indulge in their deepest fantasies. But the fantasy becomes a nightmare when they discover the dead body of an unknown woman in the loft, and they realize one of the group must be involved.
On paper, and even in trailer form, The Loft is a film that easily attracts interest. Five cheating husbands who use an expensive loft to fulfill their unfaithful desires, a woman brutally murdered, possible motives for all; that just sounds fun to watch unfold. And to be fair, The Loft is entertaining to watch but it certainly isn’t a good movie. It’s something you’ll watch once and have total apathy for because while it is blatantly stupid, it’s fun to get caught up in the mystery. It’s akin to watching a trainwreck like Jerry Springer; you know it’s terrible but for some inexplicable reason it’s tough to look away.
Simply being tolerable isn’t enough to warrant praise however, as The Loft is an extremely flawed film from various aspects. That shouldn’t really surprise anyone considering this is a January release of a finished project that has been postponed for three years. It’s also an unnecessary remake of a foreign film of the same name that is only seven years old. The kicker is that both iterations are directed by Erik Van Looy. Yep, he remade his own film.
Regardless, The Loft‘s first crippling mistake is just how unlikable and nasty its male protagonists are. The plot itself would be far more engaging if we had reason to believe these men were being mistreated or constantly arguing with their wives, but that isn’t the case. They are just slimy men that feel the need to bang other women. One character in particular is so incredibly crude towards women – sometimes even in public and around his own wife – it’s hard to imagine why anyone would even want to be married to him, let alone why other females would want to have affairs with him in a loft. What makes things even stranger is that the character is portrayed by Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family, meaning that his performance often crosses over into uncomfortable hilarity, which also pits the movie against itself. It’s kind of hard to take the drama seriously when such an over- exaggerated character exists.
Furthermore, some of our leads are barely distinguishable from one another until the last act which is where you are bombarded with some of the dumbest twists you could possibly put in a murder mystery. Part of it is predictable which is slightly annoying, but then the movie goes insanely overboard to the point where I wish they just stuck with something formulaic.
The acting is also very bad and hard to take seriously. Whenever someone has to put emotion into their lines it falls completely flat, which is a shame because the movie does boast a talented cast featuring Karl Urban, Wentworth Miller, James Marsden, and more. To be fair, it’s not like they were given the best dialogue to work with.
Constant flashbacks and flash-forwards also completely disrupt the flow the film, consistently stopping viewers from grasping the motives and traits of the movie’s numerous characters. Not only are there five cheating husbands to analyze, but there are also wives, prostitutes, and more. Due to this none of the characters have any depth to their personality, meaning a lot of the twists come across even sillier than they already are.
The Loft suffers from a terrible script, erratic directing that has no idea what to focus on, and some horrible acting, but at least it is able to justify its existence as trashy entertainment. That’s a backhanded compliment that I wish could be given to some other films, so in that regard The Loft isn’t entirely worthless. It’s just a really stupid movie they can serve as a perfect time waster one day.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder – An aficionado of film, wrestling, and gaming. He currently writes for Flickering Myth, We Got This Covered, and Wrestle Enigma. Follow me on Twitter.