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'The Loft' Review: A Fetid Trash Fire of Misogynistic Bullsh*t

By TK Burton | Film | January 30, 2015 |

By TK Burton | Film | January 30, 2015 |

If you want to save some time, let us begin with this:

The Loft is garbage. Unredeemable, unbelievable, unforgivable trash. We’re four weeks into the new year and I can already guarantee that it will be one of the top five worst movies that I’ll see this year.

If all you wanted was a snapshot review, there you are. But if I may, please indulge me by reading on. Please allow me to demonstrate why. Basically, people, I got some shit to get off my chest.

This is a story about five douchebags. They are unquestionable douchebags, with nary a positive trait other than they are attractive. They are, like all of the characters in this piss bucket of a film, stock, rote, one-note characters. There is Douchebag #1, played by Karl Urban (why, dude? why?), who is an architect who fucks around on his wife and is spectacularly arrogant. Douchebag #1 designs an opulent downtown apartment building, and sets aside a unit just for him and his douchebag friends to share, so that they have a gross-yet-fancy fuckpad to go to when they want to cheat on their beleagured, poorly-written, shit-upon wives (more on them in a moment). His friends are Douchebag #2 (Eric Stonestreet) who is an obnoxious drunken slob who fucks around on his wife, Douchebag #3 (Wentworth Miller), who does not appear to fuck around on his wife, but is creepy and gross and likes to watch his friends fuck around on their wives. Then there’s Douchebag #4 (James Marsden), who is the nice guy, the moral compass of the group who refuses to join their little fuck club. He neglects his wife, ignores her obvious social anxiety issues, pays off a hooker who gets beaten up by one of his friends, and eventually fucks around on his wife. Lastly, there is Douchebag #5 (Matthias Schoenaerts), the meatball thug brother of #4, who does coke, rapes prostitutes, and fucks around on his wife.

These are your protagonists.

Eventually, one of them shows up at the loft and finds a dead woman in the bed (which, can we just contemplate the grossness of having sex in the bed that FOUR OF YOUR FRIENDS are routinely sweat-humping around in?). They are all summoned, and through a series of flashbacks, we learn about their secrets, their lies, and that each of them is — hard to believe — an even bigger douchebag than we thought. There is intrigue and mystery, except that none of it is interesting. There is sex and smoldering glances, but none of it is actually titillating. There are revelations and accusations, yet the dialogue is so horrendously trite and obvious, so shitty-romance-novel, shovel-to-the-head dumb, that it’s hard to feel like there are any stakes when the words spoken are so silly. It’s all shot in hazy blues and grays, with gauzy flashbacks interspersed with shoulders and cheekbones and vacant, steamy gazes. It’s crap.

But when it transcends crap and becomes misogynistic trash is in its dealing with women. It would have been possible to make such a film and still have it be decent. In fact, the film is a remake of a well-received Belgian film of the same name (with the same director, Erik Van Looy). I have not seen the 2008 Loft, but the women in this version are either discarded rag dolls or cliche-ridden, simpering weaklings. There are two classes of women: wives and whores. I do not mean whores in an derogatory sense, I mean that they are actually prostitutes. The prostitutes are either abused and discarded, or victim to the “hooker with a heart of gold” trope (a particularly terrible character played by Rachael Taylor). The wives are not only paper-thin caricatures, but they’re each given a specific and blatant flaw (Kali Rocha is mouthy and overweight, Rhona Mitra is cold and antisocial, Margarita Levieva
is a bitchy gold-digger, and so on), written as if they drove their douchebag husbands to infidelity. Deliberate or not, that is the sense that the movie gives you, that these guys are just regular guys, but man, the women that they married are the worst and, you know, what’s a bro to do, right?

Oh, wait. There is one woman who is neither a prostitute nor a wife. She’s, um, the one who ends up getting murdered. So yeah.

In any event, there is a tangled, sloppy, messy story to all of this that results in a revelation that, I will admit, I actually did not see coming and was a decent plot twist. You discover who’s responsible, there’s a degree of comeuppance, and you feel like, “OK, that was a raging dumpster fire full of used condoms in a dark alley of downtown Hell, but at least it resolved itself well.” Except no. Then there’s another twist. And that one? That one is not only absolutely hamfisted and idiotic, but it also mostly invalidates the original twist. So the only thing that The Loft does right, it eventually scrubs in favor of rampant stupidity. Oh, but don’t worry, a good 60% of the douchebags get a happy ending. Figuratively, anyway.

This movie is shit. It is a Skinemax movie with less nudity, better set design, and roughly the same caliber of writing. It’s awful, distasteful, unpleasant, and uninteresting. There is nothing even remotely redeeming about it. Every single person in this film should be ashamed of themselves. I hated every second of it, and if I could pour scalding water into my ears to burn it from my memory, I’d seriously consider it.

TK Burton is an Editorial Consultant. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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