Review: 'Last Night in Soho' squanders a smashing premise

Asia's Tech News Daily

Who knew that digging the Kinks could be so dangerous?

Review: 'Last Night in Soho' squanders a smashing premise
© Provided by The Canadian Press

“The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society” (an album good enough to die for, truth be told) is one of the records that Eloise Turner (Thomasin McKenzie) stuffs into her suitcase when she gleefully packs for London. Eloise has long fantasized about living in the city, a dream built on the allure of London’s 1960s swinging past. Her grandmother (Rita Tushingham), who raised her and supplied the piles of vinyl, watches Eloise’s great expectations with trepidation. Eloise’s mother embarked on a similar path, but years earlier killed herself.

“It’s not what you imagine, London,” she says.

In Edgar Wright’s “Last Night in Soho,” it doesn’t take long for the modern-day London to disabuse Eloise of her romantic notions. The city’s seedy underbelly she senses on her first cab ride. She arrives a naive fashion student, mocked by her classmates for her old-fashioned tastes. Eloise flees to a quiet apartment of her own, atop an old building in Soho, owned by an elderly landlady (the late Diana Rigg, in her final screen performance). There, she is magically transported to ‘60s London whenever she falls asleep and a bedside record player turns on. In her nighttime trips, she mirrors an aspiring chanteuse Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy, soaking up the period style) on a glamorous romp through the heady era. But with time, her vicarious experience of the ’60s turns dark. Not all was so swinging, it turns out, particularly for a beautiful young woman trying to make her way in nightclubs full of leering men.

The set-up of “Last Night in Soho,” which opens in theaters Friday, is smashing but gets squandered by the film’s second half. There, a promising premise detours into a muddled murder mystery that stretches the supernatural concept too far to sustain. A movie that seemed determined to deconstruct genre tropes instead becomes overwhelmed by them.

It’s a shame because the subject of overindulged nostalgia could be a fruitful one for any film in our much-recycled movie era. But it seems tailormade for Wright, the energetic and clever British filmmaker of playful genre combos like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Baby Driver,” whose movies are populated by affectionate film references and well-timed needle drops. Anyone can relate to the pull a fabled time has on Eloise, but Wright’s own propensity for nostalgia seems to drive “Last Night in Soho.”

When Eloise is first transported to to 1965, Wright finds a way to make her present with Sandie, but not quite in the “Christmas Carol” ghostly way. Whenever Sandie passes a mirror, Eloise is reflected back. They are somehow spiritually intertwined. Initially, the experience is everything she’s imagined. Sandy and a dashing well-connected man (Matt Smith) whirl through nighttime Soho, skipping under the bright marquee of “Thunderball.” (Fittingly, “Last Night in Soho” will appear in theaters alongside another Bond, more than 50 years later.)

Eloise soon can’t wait to hop back into bed. But after a few nights, Sandy’s hopeful start as a performer has been cynically sidetracked into a tawdry backup-dancer act. Backstage, the reality is significantly worse. Eloise’s dream of the ‘60s turns into a nightmare. But just when you think “Last Night in Soho” is going to go deeper into Eloise’s nostalgia and relationship to her own present, she becomes almost zombie-fied by the harrowing visions. Her journey seems to run out midway through the movie.

The nightmare turns increasingly real, and even connects to certain figures in Eloise’s modern day. Terence Stamp figures prominently, as he always does. But as much as his presence is electrifying, the character gives him little to work with. Michael Ajao plays a sweet student suitor of Eloise. That “Last Night in Soho,” which Wright wrote with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, dispels the allure of the ‘60s to Eloise isn’t the problem. It’s that once the movie, so vividly shot by cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung, reaches that conclusion, it bogs down with ghoulish B-movie jump scares.

But while neither of their character’s gets enough depth, McKenzie and Taylor-Joy sustain “Last Night in Soho,” a movie filled with reflections to both past fiction horrors (“Straight on Till Morning, “Suspiria”) and today’s #MeToo terrors.

“Last Night in Soho,” a Focus Features release, is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for bloody violence, sexual content, language, brief drug material and brief graphic nudity. Running time: 116 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Bigg Boss 15 Weekend Ka Vaar Written Update: Salman Khan remembers Sidharth Shukla as one man army

With each passing day, the game inside the Bigg Boss 15 house is getting more intense. The entry of former contestants (Rakhi Sawant, Devoleena Bhattacharya and Rashami Desai) is making ... Read more »

Money saving tips: Britons urged to take 'critical' actions with finances to achieve goals

Saving money can be done in various ways, but it is actually getting started which many people will find difficult. As the cost of living rises, people across the country ... Read more »

How to retire with £500,000 - Pension saving tips from your 20s to your 50s

Most people are well aware of the importance of putting plans in place and saving money towards their pension. However, knowing how much to put away in order to achieve ... Read more »

Meet the Pageant Coach Behind These Filipina Beauty Queens' Signature Walks

© Provided by Preview.ph At the Araneta Coliseum on March 15, 2015, Pia Wurtzbach was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2015. Her supporters in the crowd were absolutely livid, roaring ... Read more »

Zia Dantes Had The Most Adorable Teddy Bear-Themed Party For Her 6th Birthday

© Provided by Cosmopolitan Philippines Zia Dantes just turned six, and she had the most charming teddy bear-themed party. Marian Rivera took to IG on Saturday to share photos from ... Read more »

Eternals: The Next Stage in the Evolution of the Marvel Universe

© Provided by Spot.ph © Provided by Spot.ph The Eternals when they first arrive on Earth in 5000 BC. PHOTO courtesy of disney philippines (SPOT.ph) “Don’t they know it’s the end ... Read more »

Blue Jays add to bullpen, agree to two-year, $11M deal with Yimi Garcia

The Toronto Blue Jays have added some depth to the bullpen by agreeing to a two-year, $11-million contract with veteran right-hander Yimi Garcia, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports. © Ashley Landis/AP ... Read more »

Triad Combat results: Mike Perry survives knockdown, wins split decision over Michael Seals

Former UFC welterweight Mike Perry survived a knockdown in the fourth round of his Triad Combat debut and surged back in later rounds to take a split decision over veteran ... Read more »

China study warns of 'colossal' COVID outbreak if it opens up like U.S., France

A security guard blocks an exit as he directs people to scan a QR code to track their health status at Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station BEIJING (Reuters) – China could ... Read more »

MoU pastikan Ismail kekal berkuasa, dakwa Kit Siang

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Tanpa MoU itu, ia mungkin menyebabkan berlakunya ketidakstabilan politik hingga menyebabkan negara terpaksa melantik seorang Perdana Menteri yang baharu, menurut Lim Kit Siang. (Gambar ... Read more »

Britons can achieve early retirement - but famous 4% rule on income has ‘big risks'

Financial Independence, Retire Early, or FIRE as it is commonly known, is a goal set by increasing numbers of people keen to depart the workforce before the traditional age of ... Read more »

Widow, 73, left worrying he'd 'be kicked out of his house' due to mortgage 'nightmare'

One in three mortgage borrowers may be overpaying on their mortgage, FCA figures show, and the long term effects could lead to an increase in ‘mortgage prisoners’. A recent survey ... Read more »

Iran: Protests on water shortages turn violent as police arrest 67

© Provided by dw.com Some reported internet outages in the areas staging protests Protests in the Iranian city of Isfahan over the drying up of a river turned violent, as ... Read more »

$123,000 federal grant will help Framingham police find missing people

FRAMINGHAM — The Framingham Police Department will use a federal grant that will help it find missing people quicker, particularly those who are at risk. The department received nearly $123,000 ... Read more »

Janhvi Kapoor shows verbal fighting skills in hilarious video, Arjun Kapoor thinks she ‘needs help'. Watch

© Provided by Hindustan Times Janhvi Kapoor in stills from a fun video on Instagram. Janhvi Kapoor has shared a funny video of her imitating Bigg Boss 5 contestant Pooja ... Read more »

WATCH: Nathan Smith Takes a Blinder in Super Smash T20 Match

© Provided by News18 WATCH: Nathan Smith Takes a Blinder in Super Smash T20 Match New Zealand’s premier Men’s T20 domestic tournament – Super Smash T20 2021-22 got underway on ... Read more »

Indian Super League: ATK Mohun Bagan school SC East Bengal with a 3-0 victory

© Provided by The Times of India The pandemic-ridden world has undergone too many changes over the past one year. But something remains static in the world of Indian club ... Read more »

Giants limp into Eagles' matchup looking to erase memories of ‘MNF' beatdown

This could have been so juicy. Instead, it is as dried out as 4-day-old Thanksgiving turkey. This could have been dripping with more than the usual venom that ordinarily oozes ... Read more »

When Salman Khan Urged Jacqueline Fernandez to Try Farming in Panvel, Called Her Foolish for Running on Treadmill

© Provided by News18 Bollywood star Salman Khan was the recent guest in The Kapil Sharma Show to promote his film Antim: The Final Truth, where he shared an anecdote ... Read more »

Making money from handbags - do you have a 'high demand' bag in your wardrobe?

Designer handbags appreciate in value every year by an average of 13 percent, outperforming stocks and shares investments, research suggests. Handbag Clinic CEO Charlotte Staerck exclusively shared her top tips ... Read more »

Investing in gold and silver for retirement - could you boost your income?

Gold is often seen as one of the most stable and lucrative investment opportunities, but investing in gold doesn’t start and end with hiding a gold bar under the bed. ... Read more »

What Ralf Rangnick should expect as Manchester United manager

Ralf Rangnick will be hit by the “privilege and responsibility” that comes with managing Manchester United as soon as he walks through the doors at Old Trafford for the first ... Read more »

Pension alert: Savers 'unaware of inflation risks' as retirement funds are moved into cash

Pension contributions, specifically workplace or private schemes, are usually invested into the markets to better chances of ensuring a comfortable retirement. However, in recent years pension holders were given more ... Read more »

Retirement and me: 60-year-old helps seniors 'increase income' with simple online platform

60-year-old Suzanne Noble has had an exciting career that has seen her work in TV production, PR and head up her own company selling baby slings. She has no plans ... Read more »

Triller Triad Combat results: Mike Perry survives knockdown to decision Michael Seals

Mike Perry overcame adversity to get his hand raised against Michael Seals at Triller Triad Combat. © File photo triller-triad-mike-perry Perry, a UFC veteran, survived a knockdown from Seals and ... Read more »

Porsche-Boss: „Bauen Sport-, nicht Schlafwagen“

Porsche-Chef Oliver Blume über die elektrische Zukunft und die des 911 © REUTERS/ANDREAS GEBERT Der Porsche-Chef nahbar und gelassen – so zeigt sich Oliver Blume bei der Autoshow in Los ... Read more »

UAE-UK health pact 'boosts exports of life sciences innovation'

© Provided by The National Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government set out its 10-year UK Life Sciences Vision in July to build on the success of Britain’s Covid-19 response. Getty ... Read more »

'A grand artistic dream': on the eve of Union, Umm Kulthum sings for Abu Dhabi

© Provided by The National Photo: Al Ittihad Could it be true? Al Ittihad newspaper broke the news in typically flamboyant style: “A grand artistic dream is materialising these days. ... Read more »

Ahead of Parliament's Winter Session, Union minister Pralhad Joshi to meet party floor leaders today

The Winter Session of Parliament is scheduled to begin on November 29. (Photo: PTI) Ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi is scheduled ... Read more »

In a bid to get rid of anonymous trolls, Australia to come up with new laws

© Provided by WION One major disadvantage of social media is that it allows massive trolling based on anonymity, hampering the mental health of many people. However, now many countries ... Read more »

Covid news, GDP nos & two IPOs among key factors to drive market this week

NEW DELHI: Two IPOs, auto sales numbers, PMI readings, quarterly GDP data, core sector data, the kick start of the winter session of parliament, and above all, the unfolding of ... Read more »

Aussie Rapunzel reveals why you should always use heat protector spray

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A model has used a single piece of bread to demonstrate the importance of using heat protector spray when straightening your hair. The ... Read more »

Philippines has administered 80M+ COVID jabs so far —NTF

Hundreds of residents from zone 51, 52 and 55 in Sampaloc, Manila wait to receive a first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine during the launching of Manila’s 24/7 vaccination at ... Read more »

Man City transfer roundup: Ferran Torres wants exit as Barcelona 'consider £59.3m offer'

It would be no surprise if Manchester City made a move to sign a centre-forward in January. What would be a shock is if they sold one of the few ... Read more »

Australia will introduce legislation requiring social media companies to reveal anonymous users who post defamatory comments

© Provided by Business Insider Lincoln Beddoe/iStock/Getty Images Plus Australian PM Scott Morrison announced social media anti-trolling legislation on Sunday. The legislation places the onus of moderating defamatory content on ... Read more »

Jacobs dumps Koe, Jones downs McCarville to advance to curling trials final

SASKATOON — Vice-skip Marc Kennedy says the members of Team Jacobs are simply trying to follow their skip’s lead at Canada’s Olympic curling trials. © Provided by The Canadian Press ... Read more »

Gelingt Chieffo Ähnliches wie einst Seoane?

© KEYSTONE/URS FLUEELER U21-Trainer Sandro Chieffo führt die gebeutelte Mannschaft des FC Luzern am Sonntag im Heimspiel gegen Basel erstmals als Interimstrainer an. Es werden Erinnerungen an den Winter 2017/18 ... Read more »

Zwei Verletzte nach Frontalkollision

Am Samstagabend kollidierten auf der Weisslingerstrasse zwei Fahrzeuge frontal ineinander. Die 35-jährige Fahrerin zog sich beim Unfall schwere Verletzungen zu. Der 65-jährige Fahrer, der nach ersten Erkenntnissen den Unfall verursachte, ... Read more »

Israel macht im Kampf gegen neue Coronavirus-Variante Grenzen dicht

© Keystone/AP/Maya Alleruzzo Um die Ausbreitung der neuen Omikron-Variante des Coronavirus einzudämmen, schliesst Israel seine Grenzen für Ausländer. Diese und weitere Beschränkungen beschloss das Coronavirus-Kabinett laut israelischen Medienberichten am Samstagabend. ... Read more »

No sex pls. We are fashionable

© Provided by Mid-Day Monisha Jaising might not have meant to capture the secret desire for sexy dressing head-on, but she did. Her sensual cutout gowns, slender wrap dresses, the ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic