Vincent Stevens is an up-and-coming architect in a dog-eat-dog business. Of course, after designing a very upscale downtown L.A. building and gaining all the cash and market attention that such a feat deserves, he's feeling like a pretty big dog right now.
A big dog who wants to get his howl on.
So Vincent acquires a swanky loft of polished stone and steel in the very building he dreamed up. But it's not just for his own use. He's not selfish like that. No, this will be a secreted-away apartment where he and his four best buds—Chris, Marty, Luke and Philip—can all growl and rut and get selfish with all manner of mistresses. (As any honorary hound would want to do.)
All five of them are married, so he's going to make sure it's a place where there won't be credit card receipts to worry over or accidental run-ins with other less-feral friends. And there'll only be a few simple rules: 1) There will only be one key for each of them. 2) They'll keep one another notified of who will be using the loft and when. 3) They'll all maintain the kitchen's supplies of booze and snacks. 4) Life will go on exactly the way it's supposed to … for a pack of sexually malevolent mongrels.
Everything works just like they want it to for a sordid 12 months or so. But then someone tosses an unwanted bone into the water bowl. It's a bone in the shape of a badly abused (and naked) blonde girl who's handcuffed to the bed and left to bleed out all over the sheets.
It has to be a hound who did it. There are only five keys, remember, and the alarm was deactivated. But when the guys gather, each one denies doing this damage to their doghouse. So it's going to be no time at all before the cops are sniffing around for clues—known proclivities, witnesses, patterns and, yes, even a hidden video recording. One dirty, mangy mutt is going to be sent to the pound pronto unless these five dogged dudes can figure out a way to bury this problem in the backyard.
There are the slightest of nods to the value of marriage when Luke's wife suggests that she would suffer many indignities for their union's sake and Marty laments his choices after his wife leaves him. (But we also see that Marty's wife uses his cheating ways as justification for her own infidelity.)
We see a couple of the guys in the throes of realistically depicted sex (with, of course, women who are not their wives). In Vincent's case, we see him with three different partners. In each situation, sexual movements and sounds are explicit. The couples are usually naked—baring torsos and legs while keeping other body parts strategically covered with, say, a bed sheet. Marty has his pants around his ankles while he has sex with a partially clothed woman. Vincent and one woman strip down before jumping into a pool: We see them both fully naked from the rear, and they embrace and kiss passionately in the water.
A guy sets up a hidden camera to capture video of his fellows' encounters. (It's suggested that he's gay and uses the peep-show videos for personal sexual purposes.) We see glimpses of the recordings.
When Chris first balks at the idea of having an affair, he says, "I'm not like that!" Vincent's snorted reply? "We're men! We're all a little like that." Indeed, as the film proceeds we find that every married man we meet (both young and old) is having some kind of extramarital affair. And all of these men make constant comments about their raw sexual desire for nearly every woman who isn't theirs.
Two different women visiting the loft admit to getting paid for their "work." One is dressed in only bra and panties, the other pulls on a very sheer top, leaving little to the imagination. A number of women dress in skimpy, highly sexualized outfits. There's talk of sexual fetishes and sexual anatomy.
As mentioned, a naked woman is drugged, handcuffed to a bed's headboard and has one of her wrists slit with a large knife. She bleeds profusely and is left to die in a crimson pool. (Her breasts and backside are covered with a sheet.) A different woman is found weeping after being roughly manhandled. She too is handcuffed to the bed, with bruises on her face and raw scrapes on her wrist.
Someone falls from a high balcony and smashes down, several stories below, on the roof of a car. After Marty makes some crude sexual comments about Philip's sister, Zoe, Philip grabs him by his (clothed) crotch and forcibly prompts him to shut up. Philip also beats on another guy who moves to caress Zoe. Philip and Chris argue about Philip's abusive father. Chris angrily smashes some glasswork. Luke lunges at Chris with a kitchen knife; Chris punches him in the face.
Crude or Profane Language
About 40 f-words and 15 s-words. Also, multiple uses each of "a--," "h---," "b--ch" and "b--tard." Jesus' name is abused 10 or more times, God's five or six (half the time combined with "d--n"). Crude and obscene references are made to male and female genitalia.
Drug and Alcohol Content
It's after she drinks herself to the point of passing out that the woman is abused and killed in the loft. And except for maybe a few police interrogation scenes, booze flows freely through every scene of the movie. Marty, for one, gets staggeringly drunk on two occasions.
We see Philip snort coke at least three times. Vincent has a powdered drug stirred into his drink, and after passing out he's force-fed prescription pills and more alcohol. We see a cigarette or two.
Other Negative Elements
People gamble to raise money for a charity event.
The Loft is a Hollywood remake of the highest-grossing Flemish film in history, though it's helmed by the same man, Erik Van Looy, responsible for the original. And it's easy to see—with its handsome leads, polished cinematography and ever-spilling barrel full of red herrings—that it wants to be a top-shelf, twisting whodunit. But for a whole barrel full of reasons it never makes it beyond a nasty and messy mid-level "who cares?"
One major pollutant is what passes for human relationship here. The five married louts who'll pay almost any price to break their marriage vows feel like well-dressed but nearly psychopathic extras ripped from a low-grade "swinging" '60s Mad Men episode. Women in their misogynistic world are either married and dully fashion-focused or single and barely dressed. And the movie that both sexes inhabit is little more than a string of flashback scenes filled with leering drunks obsessed with snorting coke, roiling sheets and pointing fingers at anybody else who might be guilty of something worse than they. Like, let's not forget, a bloody murder.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Karl Urban as Vincent Stevens; James Marsden as Chris Vanowen; Wentworth Miller as Luke Seacord; Eric Stonestreet as Marty Landry; Matthias Schoenaerts as Philip Trauner; Isabel Lucas as Sarah Deakins; Rachael Taylor as Anne Morris
Erik Van Looy ( )
Open Road Films
January 30, 2015
May 26, 2015