With murder mystery tales, there are two things that are necessary for it to be entertaining.
Whether it be in writing or on the screen, the story has to have a mystery that is an actual hard one to solve. Also, the motivations of every character, especially the murderer, have to be understood and believable.
In “The Loft,” only one of those were successful.
Starring James Marsden and Karl Urban, the story is similar to a ‘whodunit.’ Five men, all married, share a loft unbeknownst to their partners. Only they five have keys.
In this loft, they can do whatever they want. It serves as a home away from home, but more specifically a place for all of them to cheat on their spouses.
The intrigue begins when one of the men, played by Wentworth Miller, walks into the loft one day only to find a dead blonde handcuffed face down to the bed.
Once all of the men are round up at the loft, they try to figure out what exactly happened.
The story lives in two levels with tension from the men presently in the apartment. Past flashbacks piece together who these men are and who killed the woman in front of them.
However, there is a minor problem. All five men are a**holes. Karl Urban’s character is the architect of the loft itself, and passionately had the idea for the loft in the first place. Within minutes of one of the characters walking down the aisle, they are asking for a key. All of these men, besides James Marsden, are not scandalized or perturbed about cheating on their wives.
As we view flashback after flashback, we see the various ways these men attempt to cheat, some more successful than others.
Eric Stonestreet plays one of the men and is so unconvincing as a misogynistic cheater, that it had me wanting to laugh. Karl Urban slowly becomes the least likeable out of all of them.
The lot of them talk about their wives and cohorts in dehumanizing and apathetic language. The only one who seems to have some humanity, is James Marsden’s role, who eventually does cheat but falls in love in the process.
As well winded the mystery is, you find yourself questioning the character’s motives and personalities than you are entertained by the story.
By the time the woman is revealed, the story is sped up and twists unravel. However, you’re just not convinced of what they’re doing, and you don’t care.