The Loft, The Loft, The Loft

The Loft is currently playing in theaters

The Loft

 

The Loft (2014) – Rated R

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.

My wife went off to Ikea on Sunday so I took the opportunity to catch a movie at the theater. I prefer going during the week as it is much less crowded but, hey, opportunity. The previews for The Loft were not inspiring but it was rated R (less kids on the weekend) and a remake of a European thriller (good sign).

Loft (2008) was a Belgian thriller written by Bart De Pauw and directed by Erik Van Looy. It was the most successful film in Belgian history. It was remade in 2010 in The Netherlands. Erik Van Looy came in to finish directing it after the original director had an accident.

Hollywood brought in Erik Van Looy to direct this film for the third time. Wesley Strick rewrote Bart De Pauw’s screenplay for the English language. Strick’s screenplays have been good (Arachnophobia), bad (The Glass House), and ugly (Doom).

Casting did a good job of picking men who look good in and out of suits. Karl Urban, James Marsden, and Wentworth Miller are three of our friends. Matthias Schoenaerts replays his role of Philip from the original. Eric Stonestreet plays the token overweight friend (yes, successful overweight people like to fool around too).

I failed my daughter. She asked me to count the number of times they said ‘Loft’ in the movie. I quickly lost track as not only is the loft referred to as such but the building it is in is also referred to as The Loft. Let us just say that they made the title abundantly clear.

The tagline for the original was “Five Friends. One Deadly Secret.”. The tagline on this one is “The Right Place to do Wrong”, further selling us on the location. Sadly the location isn’t much. The Loft just appears to be a bachelor pad with a bar, sitting area, and a decent bed. It overlooks a decent chunk of city but there is certainly no location porn here.

VAGUE SPOILERS AHEAD: So we are left with Five Friends – One Deadly Secret. Here’s my numeric rundown. Seven men, plenty of liars, several alcoholics, a drug addict, a rapist, a murderer, a corrupt city official, a procurer, a corrupt businessman, an extortionist, a pornographer, a man with incestuous issues, a john, ZERO likable, or even relatable, male characters

I was hoping for a neat thriller with some good twists that might say something cogent about sexual politics, desire, or need. Oh well. It was not to be. At the least, I was expecting a prurient interest guilty pleasure but it fails on that level too. We do have a lot of good-looking thirty-somethings in various stages of undress but the focus is never on the sex or violence but on the dialogue and, trust me, the dialogue could use some work.

The plot twists are interesting, or would be if you cared about any of the characters. The Loft is not horrible but it is not much more than that.