Okay, no, they aren’t really. But if you only had this film to go by, you would really think they were.
I’d seen the trailer when it first came out, and I was interested, despite the fact that it seemed very straightforward and obvious. And the fact that this is the second remake of the original Belgium film, I assumed there must be something to it.
The film is obvious. Handsome, successful, well-mated men want to have their cake and have sex with it, too. They go in together on an ostentatious loft in order to have a secret getaway in which to philander. Because, you know, pesky little hotel receipts get everywhere, and husbands NEVER empty their own pockets! And owning a high-end loft is far easier to hide from wives.
Then, surprise, they find a dead body in the bed, lying in the quintessential pool of blood.
So the film could become a modern-day Rope. One room, 5 suspects, on body handcuffed to the bed. Only, the director focuses so much more on the sordid sexcapades that the thriller aspect is severely dampened.
It doesn’t help that the film is told in three continuous timelines. It’s a gimmick that simply confuses me several times throughout the film. I guess maybe a thriller wants the audience to step back and say, “What is happening here?” But do they want us to do it every time there is a time jump?
What is enjoyable about the film is how it bends over backwards to try and rank the men as better or worse than the other men in the film. But in fact they are all disgusting, entitled, psychopathic dickwads.
I can’t really knock the acting in this film. Not when the writing is so winningly atrocious. Eric Stonestreet gives a fantastic performance, if only in showing his range from loveable Cam Tucker to this piece of shit character, Marty.
Karl Urban’s character, Vincent, is like a devious Gatsby. Everyone crowds in around him in admiration while he siphons all the good out of the world. Meanwhile, Wentworth Miller (what a name) plays Luke, who is about as greasy and slippery as Wormtail and the Beedle combined. I wanted him to be better than the rest of them, but no; even the shy, quiet one is not what he seems.
James Marsden’s Chris is set up to be the protagonist (he only cheats on his wife a few times…and only with one woman who he “loves”). However, in one scene, meant to show him as a “good guy,” he happens upon his brother Phillip (Matthis Schoenaerts) post raping a “whore.” Chris gives his brother quite the set-down, then plies the woman with a healthy wad of cash and convinces her not to go to the cops.
Ohhhhkay….then he tells his brother, rather sternly, “I will never forgive you.”
Ohhhh! Man! That cuts to the bone! What a swell guy. Sure, he pressures this poor woman to go to his friend, “a doctor,” instead of a hospital, then pays her off to keep her from turning his darling little brother into the proper authorities. What a stand-up guy.
In case you can’t decipher my tone, I found this movie pretty revolting. And if the men in the film aren’t horrible enough, the portrayal of women is ten times worse. They are either withering crones these men deigned to marry; fat sluts; or bleach blonde, emaciated, clingy sex goddesses.
As if this misogynistic daydream couldn’t get any more grandiose. Pepper in some Madonna/whore complexes and a soupçon of violence against women. This bad choice of James Marsden’s is right up there with his Straw Dogs remake.
I will say that I didn’t guess the ending, but it also did not make me give two shits about these worthless characters.