February 2, 2015

Movie Review: The Loft (2015)

When a movie sits on a shelf for a few years before being released to theaters, it is not usually a good sign. Sometimes it is due to a movie caught up in politics, or is a difficult one to market, or sometimes it really just isn't a good movie. I suspect that this one crosses a few lines. The Loft finished shooting way back in 2011 and has sat around until now, picked up by Open Road (a distributor backed by Regal Entertainment Group) for distribution. To be sure, this is not a great film, but it is certainly entertaining. The Loft is a sorta erotic thriller that is light on the erotic and built on the twist of mistrust that builds between friends.



The Loft is a remake of a 2008 film from Belgium called simply, Loft. This film and the original were directed by Erik Von Looy, who also directed The Memory of a Killer. The screenplay was written by Bart de Pauw (who also wrote the original) and Wesley Strick (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010, Doom). I have not seen the original, so I cannot compare to that, but while it was entertaining and worth spending time with, a little anyway.


Five long time friends share a loft in an swanky new building in Manhattan. This loft is a secret from their respective wives and is meant to be a sanctuary getaway where they can take girlfriends, prostitutes, one night stands, and any other illicit affairs to without the potential hassle from credit card bills and nosy wives. The movie does not dive much into the one offs, in fact it wastes no time getting right into the thriller elements.

One of the guys goes to the loft one morning and discovers a dead woman handcuffed to the bed. He immediately calls the other four guys and they all gather in the loft and try to figure out what to do with the body, not to mention figure out what happened. Of course, there is the thought of calling the police, but to say they are dedicated to keeping their secret that the idea is steamrolled. Now, with the five friends and only five keys, mistrust begins to fester. One of them had to have been involved in the murder. Which one?


The Loft is solely built upon the twist of mistrust, or was that twists, plural? Hmmm. To say too much would give too much away. No, this is not a classic, but if you are interested on any level, you need to avoid too much foreknowledge. Should you guess it early, so be it, but don't let it be because someone told you what it was.

The movie is cold and mostly heartless. The core five, while populated with familiar faces (Karl Urban, James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Mathias Schoenearts, and Eric Stonestreet) and with the occasional laugh, it is cold and impersonal. It is all about the execution of the plot and little to do with actual character. Each one has a role to play and there is not much to them outside of the role they need to fill.


The funny thing is that I was reminded of Very Bad Things. You remember, right? The Christian Slater movie where a prostitute is accidentally killed during a bachelor party? All right, maybe not, but I was still reminded of that comedy while watching this one unfold.

No, The Loft is not a movie likely to be remembered when this year rolls into next, but for this moment it is worth the effort. It is fun, silly, and has no depth, but it is still executed well. I think it helps that the cast is littered with folks who know what they are doing. In the end, it could have been way better, but it also could have been way worse. Not much of a ringing endorsement, but I would be lying if I said I didn't like it.

Recommended.


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