I had literally no expectations going into this movie. In fact, I had barely even heard of it, so usually, when I go in with no idea what to expect, I’m pleasantly surprised and have a good time. All I knew about The Loft was that it was about a couple of guys who wanted to have a secret apartment where they could go to cheat on their wives. When they find a dead woman in the apartment, they all begin accusing each other of being the murderer.
Sounds like a neat idea for a thriller, right?
Wrong. Absolutely, completely wrong.
Director: Erik Van Looy
Release Date: January 30, 2015
The first hint that this might not be a fun movie was that right from the beginning, it was clear none of the actors really wanted to be there. It just struck me that they were all there to earn a pay check and that was it. Karl Urban is generally somebody who I enjoy (he was so badass in Dredd), but here he’s just stiff and boring. The other main actors, Wentworth Miller, James Marsden, Eric Stonestreet, and Matthias Schoenaerts, were all pretty terrible, too. Part of me felt bad for all of them for agreeing to deal with such a crummy script, but then another part of me just wanted to punch them all for the same reason.
Seriously, maybe I’m overreacting, but the main guys were basically the five worst douchebags anyone could possibly imagine. I guess that might be the point because they all end up in some pretty terrible situations, but the outcome for those problems isn’t satisfying in any way.
The male actors aren’t the only ones who make this stinker of a movie smell even worse. All the ladies are pretty bad, too. The worst had to be Isabel Lucas, who was more or less just a generic sex-pot who wanted Karl Urban’s character to leave his wife but then didn’t want him to have to make that choice (???). I feel like Rachel Taylor, who played James Marsden’s character’s mistress, could’ve been good if she had better material to work with, but… eh.
So maybe I’m being too hard on the cast. I probably am, since they were all terrible, it’s the script and the directing that’s really at fault.
Erik Van Looy also directed the foreign film The Loft is based on, which has the same title. He also wrote the screenplay, which if you haven’t realized by now, is pretty much garbage. There’s nothing that is in the script to make the audience sympathetic to anybody. Instead, it’s just a bunch of stereotypical, soap-opera-ish dialogue and stupid, convoluted “plot twists.”
There was also a lot of flashbacks and jumping around that I guess was supposed to keep things suspenseful, but it just made it seem like the writer didn’t know how to get his characters out of the mess he put them in. So rather than being smart about it, he just set up these moments where they could reveal things they did after the fact. While this works in other movies, here it just seemed way too convenient.
I imagine I wouldn’t have hated it so much if it was just on Lifetime. This is the kind of thing I expect from them, but even those movies are more fun to watch than The Loft was.