Last Night in Soho is a good movie, but it’s not a great one. Edgar Wright really knows what he’s doing when it comes to sounds and visuals and it shows with the combination to elicit the feeling of madness and loss of control, all of which is enhanced by a phenomenal cast. As a thriller, it’s great, top-notch, even if it fumbles a bit as a mystery.
Last Night In Soho follows Ellie, a girl moving into the big city of London to follow her dream to be a fashion designer. She also sees spirits and is absolutely in love with the 60s. When she moves into a home things start to take a turn as she dreams about a life in the 60’s Soho full of glitzy clubs. But is it for the better, or worse…?
On-screen is a great cast Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise, Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandy, with Michael Ajao, Matt Smith, Terence Stamp, Diana Rigg, and Margaret Nolan rounding out the cast. All of them bring their A-game to play their roles in these incredibly distinct and well-defined worlds and in the weird places they bleed together. Michael Ajao, in particular, is a standout as John a charming classmate to Eloise who like most young college students fumbles his way through their early interactions.
Last Night in Soho is pretty packed with robust ideas and worlds, each individually well developed enough to make their own movie, but it’s a testament to Wright’s talent that he weaves them together here into one package. First the world of fashion design, then Ellie’s psychic(?) journey through the ’60s and the way they bleed together is center stage.
When it comes to the mystery at the heart of the movie it is a bit undercooked. There are some classic moments where the character would know things that the audience isn’t privy to but to make the mystery work the character isn’t allowed to know them either. The movie does a good job of pushing Ellie to look for help, to find out what’s going on while she’s spiraling which works in its favor as perhaps here the protagonist isn’t fully up to the tasks in front of her either – if that follows. Ellie isn’t a capable detective, she’s an early 20 something young girl fresh in the big city and she’s struggling through a scenario where she believes she might be losing her mind. She’s frazzled, to say the least, and that covers for some of the hiccups. But the fatal flaw of a mystery only being a mystery because the storyteller withheld a nugget of info you would know feels a little limp.
The thrill of Ellie outrunning this past and trying to solve why it’s happening is ultimately more enjoyable than the solution, but that’s alright – sometimes the journey is enough.
Last Night in Soho benefits so much from a theater viewing, where the sound is dialed in specifically for the journey the movie takes you on, and that journey is what makes it a thrilling ride, despite the flaws.
Last Night in Soho is in theaters now.