As always, Wright is a tad too slick: there’s a tidiness that doesn’t quite capture the flintiness of on-the-record inspirations Repulsion and Don’t Look Now. But for the majority of Last Night in Soho he provides a beautiful, thrilling surprise.
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Last Night in Soho is an immensely pleasurable film that delights in playing with genre, morphing from time-travel fantasy to dark fairy tale, from mystery to nightmarish horror in a climax that owes as much to ’60s Brit fright fare as to more contemporary mind-benders.
Wright’s particular affections for B-movies, British Invasion pop and a fast-fading pocket of urban London may be written all over the film, but they aren’t compellingly written into it, ultimately swamping the thin supernatural sleuth story at its heart.
Mixing glorious pastiche and gory ghost story, director Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho will stand as one of the best London movies of new decade.
Last Night in Soho, with all its warts and wonders, shows you can teach an old dog some new tricks. Wright shows he still hasn't hit his ceiling as a filmmaker, but's heartening to see him stretch and reach rather than just keeping his artistic ambitions planted on the floor.
A lot of thrilling, dazzling, sometimes frightening fun.
Left behind is [Wright's] trademark hyperactive editing and insistent post-modernism; in its place is flowing movement and intense emotion.
It all makes for an immersive evocation of time and place, and a more sober, if still stylish, filmmaking flex from Wright. Gone are the trademark crash zooms and whip pans, and the hairpin cuts of his recent action thriller Baby Driver. Gone, too, the comforting cameos and goofy banter of the Pegg and Frost trilogy – in ice-cream parlance, this one is more Twister than Cornetto – and that unmooring from the director’s previous work makes this an especially satisfying trip into the unknown. Like its eerie Soho back alleys, you’re never sure what’s around the next corner.
Last Night in Soho soars at the beginning, only to crash in the end. It’s a broken promise.
British writer-director Edgar Wright takes a grab-bag of 1960s ingredients, paints them up and makes them dance to his tune. His film is thoroughly silly and stupidly enjoyable.