'The Loft': So bad it's ... just bad

'The Loft': A dour hodgepodge of bad behavior and witless misogyny

“The Loft” is an unpleasant, unsatisfying redo of the hit 2008 Belgian film “Loft,” which was also remade in the Netherlands in 2010.  

The story, about five male friends who secretly share a sleek city loft for their extramarital trysts until a dead blond turns up in the apartment’s very busy bed, certainly makes for a provocative log line. But this new iteration proves such a dour hodgepodge of bad behavior, bald-faced misogyny and ping-ponging alliances, it’s more alienating than alluring.

What these troubled co-tenants -- caddish architect Vincent (Karl Urban), high-minded shrink Chris (James Mardsen), wormy voyeur Luke (Wentworth Miller), hot-headed newlywed Philip (Matthias Schoenaerts, who was also in the original) and crass slob Marty (Eric Stonestreet in a dreadful, thankless role) -- are doing as buddies is anyone’s guess. Perhaps as curious: why their wives, no bargains themselves, ever hooked up with these sneaky Petes.

The often witless script by Wesley Strick, based on the first film written by Bart De Pauw (both versions were directed by Erik Van Looy), twists and turns on itself as it inefficiently toggles back and forth in time to unravel how said corpse landed at the lovers’ lair.

The motives and compulsions that drive the mystery are as skin-deep as the film’s many characters, which also include femmes fatales (Rachael Taylor, Isabel Lucas), fat cats (Graham Beckel, Ric Reitz) and cops (Kristin Lehman, Robert Wisdom).         

Had the movie played campier, sexier and savvier, it might have succeeded as fun, male-centric trash. But as is, some decent, attractive performers, a potentially juicy premise and glossy trappings aren’t enough to keep this tawdry whodunit aloft.


"The Loft"

MPAA rating: R for sexual content, nudity, bloody violence, language, drug use

Running time: 1 hours, 48 minutes

Playing: In general release

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times