The Good: A decent cast, Decent direction
The Bad: Lousy writing, Terrible characters, Mediocre plot development
The Basics: The Loft is a dumb mix of sex, drugs, and unlikable characters involved in a character study of paranoia.
Every now and then, I encounter a film with a pretty impressive cast that - for one reason or another - I am surprised that I never heard of. Usually, they are indie movies that either did not have a big opening or simply did not break out at the box office. The Loft was one such film. It's fairly surprising that a movie released in 2015 starring Karl Urban, Wentworth Miller, Eric Stonestreet and James Marsden would not have generated much interest in the marketplace. And yet, The Loft did exactly that.
It's somewhat unsurprising that The Loft failed to garner much attention at the box office as it is a poorly-written, absolutely cheesetastic thriller that underwhelms in every possible way. In a film where none of the characters are particularly likable, it is hard to get excited about seeing it through. Despite an impressive cast, the bevy of cheating men and lousy women they are portraying makes for a fundamentally uninteresting film.
Opening with a body hitting a car, Vincent Stevens is interrogated for what appears to be a crime. Earlier in the day, Luke Seacord arrived at the shared apartment he keeps with several other men to discover a dead woman handcuffed to their bed. Luke calls in Vincent, Chris, Marty, and Philip, who all have keys to the apartment. A year prior, Vincent is having a party, at which Chris meets the sister of a patient of his who had a mood disorder and he was not able to help. Vincent shows the four others the loft space and offers them the opportunity to invest in the oasis away from their lives.
While the men assemble early in the day, they look over the body and the clues left in the apartment - a Latin phrase written in blood, a bloody knife, etc. - to try to piece together who is responsible for the corpse. The guys recall Philip's wedding, at which Vince gives the guys the keys to the loft space. They recall a trip to San Diego where three of the guys met another blonde and saw . . . I can't even get through trying to describe the plot more.
Some films are just bad. The Loft is one of them.
What is worthwhile is the direction from Erik Van Looy and the performances. The performances from the four main men and Rachael Taylor, who became instantly recognizable from her work on Jessica Jones (reviewed here!) the moment she began speaking, are decent and Van Looy captures their best moments of performance. No, even the caliber of these actors cannot sell the lousy lines they are being forced to recite, but they have decent physical performances - eye movements, subtle shifts in body language, etc.
Who killed Sarah Deakins and which of the terrible men and women in The Loft is responsible quickly becomes uninteresting. The Loft looks good, but almost every line of dialogue is terrible, canned and/or ridiculous. Despite the quality of the cast, The Loft is a dumb story populated by awful characters that is not worth watching.
For other works with James Marsden, be sure to visit my reviews of:
The Best Of Me
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
Walk Of Shame
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
X-Men: The Last Stand
X2: X-Men United
For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for an organized listing!
© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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