Overall Grade: (C)
A decent mystery with enough twists and turns to keep you hanging as well as some strong cast performances all around.
This mystery/thriller follows a group of five middle aged men who secretly share a downtown loft to hide their indiscretions from their wives. Nothing can go wrong here right? All seems to be working as arranged until a woman shows up murdered and handcuffed to the bed and it doesn’t take long before the fingers begin being pointed at one another.
This was a remake of a 2008 Belgium film from the same group of writers and directors and while IMDb gave the original a higher rating, this was still an entertaining story. I will be interested in watching the 2008 foreign release to see what was done to account for almost a full point in the rating meter. This film started out relatively quick and told segments of the story out of sequence which was nice given it kept you thinking and trying to guess who was responsible for the victim in the bed.
There was enough examination of the five-peoples lives – their interactions with their spouses, their career and economic status as well as the dynamic of their group to lure you into the script. Once you are connected to the characters the story begins to slowly dole out small clues, and the bits and pieces of information you are given at different times subconsciously make you begin to examine each character to see who you think the real killer is among the friends. It was nice for adding a good amount of intrigue and vested interest.
The cast was solid; Karl Urban was believable as the group leader with his protege played by James Marsden came in with a very good performance as the (from all indications) most decent of the men, conflicted by the actions of his friends as well as himself. Eric Stonestreet was highly enjoyable in this film and was a far cry from his character he plays on “Modern Family” he was believable as the alcoholic member of the group who silently tries to avoid growing up, as well as trying to keep up with his friends. His character was somewhat reckless and his drunken outbursts make for some tense and highly awkward moments.
The story-line felt fresh and unique during several scenes, and added with the out of sync approach to the timeline, the result was a film that was not excellent, but very enjoyable. The script and cast deliver many tense moments as well as thought-provoking situations that make you question the entire cast which is a success for any mystery.
Up until the very end you really do not know what will happen and it makes the viewing fun. Often a film can try and get too fancy and twist itself right out of being a good film but this script manages to pack a couple fun plot-twists at the end that didn’t hinder the flow of the story, while maintaining its plausibility.
When you read a synopsis about a group of guys hiding a place from their wives you know it’s going to be bad and this film (for me) told a rather believable scenario of what can happen when you step out on your relationship and how fast things can unravel. For going rather unmentioned “The Loft” was a fun who-done-it with a great pace that will provide for an enjoyable evening with a movie.