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Article by Teddy Durgin

Durgin condemns 'The Loft'

"The Loft" has one big claim to fame that no other motion picture will (hopefully) ever be able to tout. It's a remake of the highest-grossing Flemish movie in history. Seriously! And, oh, how it has worked up a lot of phlegm in me. Actually, it's bile. What a bad movie, folks! Seriously, if you're fans of any actor in this, you'll really want to avoid it. Once you see James Marsden, Karl Urban or Eric Stonestreet in these roles, you can't "un-see" them. The film centers on five truly scummy guys who pool their money and buy a loft condo together that they can use to cheat on their wives. Actually, one of the five gets it on his wedding day as a gift from the guys... you know, because he'll be "needin' it soon." Anyhoo, one morning, these degenerates find one of their female conquests face down and hand-cuffed to the headboard of the king-sized bed in the owner's suite. She's been cut up and blood is everywhere. Earlier, the guys had set up ground rules for the loft - the most important of which was there was to be only five keys made for their special pad and these keys were to remain in each guy's possession at all times. So, it has to be one of them, right? The film is told as a sort of poor man's "Usual Suspects," with flashbacks piled upon flashbacks, a few flash-forwards and possibly even one or two flash-sideways. Everyone seemingly has a secret or two (or seven) to hide. Oh yeah. The amount of double-crosses, betrayals, red herrings, possible suspects, possible motives, twists and turns becomes quite ludicrous. Worst of all, there's no rooting interest here. We don't know which sleazeball to pull for or against as the killer. And we don't know if we're ultimately supposed to root for any one or all of them to get away with it. Really, the only way this film could have worked was as a chronicle of male egos under pressure. When the film has the five guys interrogating each other in that loft, you can see what this could have been with good dialogue and some committed performances. But those scenes here are all just set up, to lead us into the next flashback or the next flash-forward (we see each guy in his own separate police interrogation room answering for the dead woman's murder). This movie was made in 2011 and has reportedly been passed around Hollywood like the various wives and mistresses in this film. So, you have Urban and Marsden trying to play against their good-guy "Star Trek" and "Enchanted"/"X-Men" roles, respectively. You have Wentworth Miller of "Prison Break" playing a possibly closeted homosexual two years before he publicly came out of the closet in real life. And you have Stonestreet of "Modern Family" fame - way before he shed about 30 or 40 pounds - in one of the most hilariously bad examples of miscasting to show up on screen in some time. I know he's straight in real life. But there's just no way to buy the dude who plays Cameron as a lewd, crude, eager-to-cheat, alcoholic husband to poor Kali Rocha. I bet all four of these actors wish this film was one corpse they could have gotten rid of for good years ago. I'll bury it for them.

"The Loft" is rated R for sexual content, nudity, bloody violence, language and some drug use.


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