Secrets, lies and deceit: those are the ingredients for The Loft, an American remake of the Belgium film Loft, both directed by Eric Van Looy. It's safe to say that once you've watched one of them, you've watched both of them. When watching the trailer for this film, you would think ‘cool, vengeful murder mystery with a great male cast’, but sadly... well, let’s just say the trailer is as deceptive as its characters.
Family life and work can be so stressful sometimes that men just need a home away from home, apparently, or to just get away from their wives, maybe have an affair or two. So that is what Vincent (Karl Urban), Luke (Wentworth Miller), Chris (James Marsden), Marty (Eric Stonestreet) and Philip (Matthias Schoenaerts) do, all of whom are married men. Each have a key to a secret apartment (the loft) allowing them to bring back other women, fulfil their sexual desires and cheat on their wives. Operation Adultery seems to be working just fine, except, one day Luke enters the loft to find a woman's dead body lying on the bed in her own blood. There are only five men and five keys, meaning conspiracies ensue.
It's a whodunit, only the film wants us to know who it is (or at least think who it is) throughout the whole film causing, us to lose the whole thrill of figuring it out. Unlike a mystery where hints and clues have been strategically placed for us to discover and work out the mystery for ourselves, The Loft constantly feeds us incorrect information only to reveal that everything you have watched is utterly irrelevant to the actual mystery, there telling and leading us to one thing with a completely different yet ridiculous outcome. Yes, you don't see the end twist coming, but there is absolutely no reason you should see it coming. It might as well have revealed that it was a ghost; that would have been just as plausible as the actual ending.
Five wealthy, good-looking but cheating men are of course going to be obnoxious and loathsome, but what is most troubling is that their actions have slight justification by the representation of their spouses. Luke's wife Ellie is just one example. Ellie relies on Luke to help her take her insulin shots, she therefore 'can't live' without him and claims she would tolerate him cheating on her. Ironically, Luke is the only key holder that doesn't actually cheat. The weakness and lack of motivation in the female characters make the wives just as unlikeable as their husbands. And their husbands are despicable.
As the guys attempt to figure out this disturbing scenario, the film flicks to the not so distant past and future; the lead up to the murder and the guys being interrogated by the police - a narrative that hasn't been cleverly devised. The film shows too much between these transitions, and they've obviously had to elongate the story so they attempt to deceive the audience from knowing where the actual plot is going. They leave the twists until the very end, but there is no good build-up of emotions, no thrill factor to keep us interested until the big reveal at the end. Even then the reveal seems like a cop-out. The end simply does not justify the means, leaving its audience deeply unsatisfied and deceived.
Special Features: TBC
INFO: THE LOFT / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: ERIC VAN LOOY / SCREENPLAY: BART DE PAUW, WESLEY STRICK / STARRING: KARL URBAN, JAMES MARSDEN, WENTWORTH MILLER, ERIC STONESTREET, MATTHIAS SCHOENAERTS / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 15TH