Sunday, February 15, 2015

Movie Review #219: "The Loft" (2015)

Movie"The Loft"
Ticket Price: $12.50
Showtime: Erik Van Looy
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Image Source
Five married friends, Vincent (Karl Urban), Luke (Wentworth Miller), Chris (James Marsden), Marty (Eric Stonestreet) and Phillip (Matthias Schoenaerts) own a loft together as a secret place where they can bring women so their wives won't find out. They think they have a sweet deal, until one morning, a dead woman covered in blood and handcuffed to the bed is found in the loft. They all start to accuse each other, since they are the only people with access, and in their conflict, secrets start to get revealed.

If you ever want to see the worst qualities of human nature in a group of wholly unlikable people, watch "The Loft" and that's what you'll get. The erotic thriller has been around for a long time, and on occasion, it is able to drag itself out of the realm of exploitation cinema into a truly intriguing thriller, or, an intense, gripping mystery. This movie is not one of those films. "The Loft," from the start, is a terribly written film with only mediocre acting and completely detestable characters. Every single one of the five main friends come off as a complete and total assholes, and that's at best. Vincent is a womanizer to the nth degree, who thinks if he gives a flashy smile, a woman will just drop her panties for him right then and there. Phillip is a violent, abusive coke-head with a short temper and clearly only married his wife for money. Chris comes off as a fake nice guy who says one thing and sneaks around and does another. Marty is an obnoxious, misogynistic loud mouth who think his sexist jokes are the funniest things ever said, and that making these nasty jokes to women somehow makes him charming. And then, there is Luke, who has no blatantly obvious flaws at the outset, but there is something about him that comes off as both sneaky and untrustworthy. Then, there are the wives of these five men. These women are portrayed as either bitchy, controlling shrews, or needy, desperate, insecure women who are in need of constant coddling. Of the five wives, only Luke's diabetic wife is even remotely empathetic, though she is obviously painfully insecure. Then, there are "the other" women. These are the women the men take to the loft and are either literally prostitutes or are clingy life-ruiners, women who do not care about wrecking homes and are fine showing up on doorsteps and destroying marriages.

Wow, women who are either bitchy control freaks, sluts or insecure little mouses? Tell me something I don't know about sexism in Hollywood, Hollywood. Get the fuck over yourself and stop with your sexist bullshit. This movie is one of the most chauvinistic and misogynistic ones we have seen in a long time. The men are complete animals, treating women like objects for their sexual gratification, and the women are portrayed as ever negative female stereotype in the book. I seriously had to contain my anger through most of this movie. In addition to these unlikable characters, they are given every single scene in the film to spout off truly horrendous dialogue. Honestly, every single scene in the film is either wrought with overacting or full of these awful pieces of dialogue that no one would ever say in real life. There are lines in this movie that are meant to be serious, but are so bad that they made us snicker at how horribly cheesy they were. When these lines are not cheesy, they are so sexist that it made our heads hurt. Eric Stonestreet, in an obvious effort to distance himself him his gay character on "Modern Family," spews vicious, sexist and demeaning dialogue to and about any female that even glances at him. It is so unnatural coming from his person that it was wholly unbelievable. All of these bad characters who vomit out this awful dialogue only exist to further a horribly disjointed plot that jumps over a year-long timeline and intentionally tries to mislead the audience. It constantly throws out these little red herrings in order to hide its stupid and eye-rollingly dreadful plot twist. All of this is laid out between the shoddy camera work, which employs the constant use of high angle and low angle ultra closeups and spinning shots that are more distracting than helpful or nuanced. These angles add nothing to the film; they are only there to give the illusion of intensity when what they really do is make the audience dizzy and annoyed.

When you have a trashy plot to begin with, it's hard to imagine such a sordid story ending up anywhere good. "The Loft" is a lousy whodunit peppered with misleading crumbs of information that is full of misogyny and violence against women, and is not thrilling in the slightest. This song has been sung many, many times in cinematic history, and you'd think, in 2015, Hollywood would know better, but no, it doesn't. This is another January release that would have been better suited as a straight-to-DVD movie...or, you know what? Better yet, it shouldn't have been made at all.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 10%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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