It’s hard to know exactly when The Loft, a disposable locked-room mystery about five yuppies who discover a corpse in their shared extramarital fuck-pad, decides to forgive its dickish main characters. Until the anticlimactic finale, the protagonists are defined by their abusive personalities, and since the film treats them like sentient plot points whose most distinct qualities are exhaustively explained through bland expository dialogue, they never evolve from well-dressed pond scum into sympathetically flawed characters.
When they’re interrogated by the police in a series of plot-twist-centric flashbacks, rich horn-dog Vince (Karl Urban) and his friends reveal themselves to be narcissistic adulterers. Loudmouth Marty (Eric Stonestreet) is the most unbelievably obnoxious member of Vince’s group, especially when he jokes with Philip (Matthias Schoenaerts) about how badly he wants to have sex with Philip’s sister — at Philip’s wedding. Good-natured Chris (James Marsden) is the closest thing to a character you might feel for, but even his affair with mysterious Anne (Rachael Taylor) isn’t developed beyond flirtatious looks and dejected pouting.
Vince’s and his friends’ actions only make sense when the film’s latest plot twist requires characters to explain their selfish decisions, like when meek Luke (Wentworth Miller) lays out to a pair of understandably skeptical cops why he nervously watched Vince and Sarah (Isabel Lucas), the one-night stand the group later find dead in their loft, go skinny-dipping. The Loft‘s boorish leads aren’t sensible enough to be worth caring about, making the film’s character-driven conclusion feel like a self-defeating cop-out.