Last Night in Soho (2021) Film Review

Rating 18
Length 1h56
Release 12.4.2017
Director Edgar Wright
About An aspiring fashion designer is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s, where she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer. However, the glamour is not all it appears to be, and the dreams of the past start to crack and splinter into something far darker.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: In cinemas now
Trailer:

The Good

  • This is a dark, clever, little film that cements my thoughts of Edgar Wright being a genre film-maker. One in a similar vein to Quentin Tarantino, but less… try hard?! While most of the film being anchored in the present day, there’s still many aspects that are borrowed from films in the 1960’s.
    While there are deliberate red herrings, there are some subtle ones that will have you wanting to rewatch.
  • One of the things I loved about the casting choices were the prominent leading stars of the 60s. Rita Tushingham tugged at my memory for most of the film. A face you know, but can’t quite place. Of course, a quick search reminded me she was in the film that I caused a heated debate about in my Film Studies seminar. The film in question was The Knack… and How to Get It. If you’ve seen The Knack, you’ll understand why she’s rather savvy casting and a foreshadowing of things to come.
    • Terence Stamp gave me the urge to watch Gangster No1. While I perhaps would have preferred Malcolm McDowell in the role, I must even admit myself that would have been a little on the nose. Plus, Stamp offers uncertainty and a performance that hangs doubt on the character and his intentions. I’m not certain McDowell, as amazing as he is, could have pulled it off so well.
    • Diana Rigg. Miss Emma Peel herself. While a little bittersweet knowing this was her last film, it’s a damn fine one to be going out on.
  • The Doctor Who connection does not end at the casting of Matt Smith. Time travel and faceless bodies haunting our protagonist. It is beautiful how it feels like a very dark, very twisted episode of the Time Lord’s. The effects will most likely haunt me for days and that’s the thing; Dr Who was always able to pinpoint your basic nightmares and make them something to truly fear.

The Bad

  • This is a personal thing, but I don’t like the method of Eloise getting to the past. I love her being there, no question, however having it the way it is really does stop a number of red herrings in their tracks.
    I wish there was more of a tangible cause, even if it was as simple as she’d found a dress of Sandie’s.

The Ugly

  • The ending has me so conflicted. While it has left me frustrated, it does serve a purpose. I absolutely must watch it again to find out if my feelings towards certain characters are justified.

Final Thoughts

This is no Cornetto film. It’s dark, it’s twisted and it’s a film of a director with an eye for detail. Beware though, you will want to watch it again once you’ve watched right to the end.

The Change-Up (2011)

Rating 15
Length 1h52
Release 16.09.2011
Director David Dobkin
About Best friends Dave, a married lawyer, and Mitch, a playboy, envy each other’s lives. Hilarity ensues when their bodies get swapped, and they realise their lives are not as great as they had imagined.
Moon: not sighted
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

The Good

  • Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman are pretty decent in this body-switch. Reynolds does seem to be able to handle both characters a little better, but Bateman equally works well when he’s acting in scenes with Reynolds. You could also argue that his character is trying to represent Dave.
  • The supporting cast, particularly Alan Arkin, Leslie Mann and Olivia Wilde is great.

The Bad

  • The whole thing with getting Mitch, who is really Dave, to go on a date with Sabrina… but for her to end up with Mitch post switch-back. Like, the film makes it go really well. They almost seal the deal. What I’d really want is for Dave to realise they’re not compatible. Right? It’s not like Dave was pretending to be Mitch, he was totally being himself so I don’t get it.
  • The nudity, to me at least, is the one thing that’s keeping this film from being a 12a and, lets face it, a body-swap is 12a or lower territory, the family lesson learned… it all lends itself to a lower rating, and a better film. Am I a woman of a certain age a bit pissed of all these perky breasts on my screen?! Well, mine have never been perky, so perhaps?! That said, it is still gratuitous and it doesn’t add to the film. (I mean, come on… we can ALL do with one less slow-mo walk to Sweet Cherry Pie in our lives, right?!)

The Ugly

  • The CGI babies. They’re not quite at the level of Twilight’s abomination, however, that CGI chocolate starfish is a hard pass! Then there’s the mid-film knife skills that just make my brain hurt. I’m sure this is more to do with this being a repeat viewing, but it really sucks!
  • The poo jokes. There’s babies involved, I get there is a well there to be used. I have my issues with the projectile shit, but the biggest culprit for me is the “I need to lay off the Thai food” open doored shit Jamie takes.
    I’m calling bullshit on this! What a gratuitous, unfunny scene. Unless Jamie and Dave have some massive kink, she would be closing the fucking door on that shit, pun very much intended.
    Now, had it been the other way around, I’d have had no problem believing that Mitch, in Dave’s body, would have done this being used to living alone. That would have made for a so-so believable scene, and given Jamie cause to question what the blokes had said earlier. However, to suggest that this woman would habitually undress, leave the door open so her husband can have a direct view of the bog, and proceed to have a wet and squelchy shit. The smell of which will plague the bedroom for god knows how long?! Nope, not buying it.
    I know, I know, it’s not that deep! You’re right. Toilet humour is low, its superficial and I fucking hate it.

Final Thoughts

This is one of those films I actually forget I hate. Its Hangover, but a pale imitation. Thank fuck the Hangover buzz was left behind in the early 2010’s.