Way back in 2003 director Edgar Wright shot the music video for Mint Royale’s ‘Blue Song’, which starred Noel Fielding as a getaway driver waiting for three bank robbers (rumour has it his upcoming film, Baby Driver, was inspired by that music video). In The Fly, director Olly Williams starts from a similar premise, but ups the slapstick (and the gore) to deliver a darkly comic delight.
A one-man-show such as this one needs a perfectly-cast protagonist, and thankfully Jack Doolan knocks it out of the park as an unnamed Driver who’s less Ryan Gosling and more Nick Frost. He doesn’t get a single word of dialogue beyond the occasional scream or grunted expletive, but his timing is spot on. His reactions build from mild annoyance to fully-fledged fury, flailing at nothing as the eponymous fly buzzes around his ears. Some of the gags are predictable – yes, there is an exploding airbag in the mix – but there’s plenty that come out of left field. We’ve all heard of Chekov’s Gun, but Chekov’s Toothpick is one we haven’t seen before.
This may be Doolan’s show, but there are other crew members that should be singled out. Cinematographer Sam Goldie makes tremendous use as the confined space of the car, pulling in close to capture the Driver’s reactions before panning out to capture his flailing. But the MVP might just be sound designer Tarn Willers, since it’s the ambient noises that bring the biggest laughs: the faint buzzing of the irritating insect’s wings; the oddly disturbing screams coming from the robbery in progress; and the growing sirens that cap off the final shots.
A notice over the end credits admits that “some flies were harmed in the making of this film.” When the end result is this good, their sacrifice was surely not in vain.
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CAST: Jack Doolan
DIRECTOR: Olly Williams
WRITER: Olly Williams
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sam Goldie
EDITOR: Leo King
SYNOPSIS: A getaway driver waiting outside a bank robbery has three nerve shredding minutes to get through before his crew returns. All he has to do is focus…