There are quite a few movies I want to see this week, such as Black Sea and, despite my preconceived notions, Project Almanac. I might see Cake, but I am really not interested in a story about a drug addict unless it is Trainspotting. I will begin this gauntlet of criticism with my review of The Loft.
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I do not usually see movies like The Loft. For me, I want to see something unique or something that takes an ordinary set up and does something different. Mystery-thrillers are not for me, but if Karl Urban is in the cast, I may consider buying a ticket.
He is one of those character actors that love his job. With good material like Pathfinder, he tries his hardest. With bad material like Priest, he gives Michael Sheen a run for his money with glorious over-acting. He is so good he makes the new Star Trek movies semi-tolerable. Had he not been cast for the lead in Dredd, that amazing film would not be a cult hit. Seriously, you should see Dredd.
So did Urban make Loft worth a watch or did it stand on its own? Not only did he make this less than memorable film qualify for good bad status, he had help from the rest of the cast. Before I move on, I should explain what I mean by good bad.
There are two kinds of films: one made with good intentions that succeed, and another also made with good intentions that collapse under it’s own incompetence. The end result determines if a movie is good or bad. But when a movie is made with good intentions that fail, it is the process on which the failure happens that makes it good bad.
My go-to examples of this are The Room and Miami Connection. Tommy Wiseau and YK Kim had visions, delusional and misguided though they may be, they wanted to put something onto film. What brings their movies down is those involved in the production had not clue what they were doing. The end result, their failed attempt at bringing their visions to life is comedy gold.
Loft did not entirely fail, but it was very obvious everyone knew the story was ridiculous, and it was a consensus between the cast that nobody was going to take it seriously.
I should start on the plot, but if you are reading this, I assume you have seen the trailer and know what happens.
My only real complaint is the actors did not go far enough to make Loft a fun watch. A big part of good bad movies is how fun they can be. It is like watching a train wreck where no one is hurt or killed. I would go so far as to say good bad movies are more fun than actual comedies.
Urban as Vincent and Eric Stonestreet as Marty were great, but I wish everyone else enjoyed themselves. The biggest shame was James Marsden as Chris because he does not try enough. I want to see him in a role where he becomes more than his signature White guy. Wentworth Miller as Luke also caught my attention because he did not fit the role. I mean no offense, but Miller is way too gay to play a man married to a woman. It is like actress Katee Sackhoff playing a submissive mother or wife; it is impossible because all you see is Starbuck.
Though this movie succeeds in how it fails, there is plenty wrong. For one thing, the best of the good bad moments do not start until 3/4ths into the runtime. After the first big twist, there is a huge spike in ridiculousness, so much so I laughed out loud in the theater, followed by a few minor twists that were icing on the cake. But getting there takes forever as the plot goes through the motions of misdirection and other mystery-thriller tropes that have been done better in other films.
Furthermore, whoever directed and edited this movie needs to go back to film school because Loft is a mess. There are simple shots mixed in with complicated, artsy confusion that muddle up the picture. Had the director picked one style and actually watched his movie after the first edit, it would have turned out better.
I was surprised to see The Loft turn out the way it did. I was expecting disposable January trash and got a relatively enjoyable good bad movie. I recommend this to people who like good bad movies. As for your average moviegoer, I recommend a rental so you do not spend so much money and regret it afterward.