Do you want to know why Edgar Wright is one of my favorite directors working today? Because he’s a beautiful genius that comes to his style of directing that either feels slick and stylish on any different genre that’s given to him. After watching Baby Driver, it actually made me wanna grab some sweet shades, put on a great song from my playlist, and get my crush to take an interest in me. Or if I don’t want to get arrested, just play Grand Theft Auto instead. Strap in your seatbelt, it’s going to be a wild ride!
Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love, and freedom.
Wright has never made a bad movie in my eyes- whether it’s the Cornetto Trilogy with it’s zombie approach of Shaun of the Dead, the buddy-cop hilarity of Hot Fuzz, and alien invasion drunk-ness of The World’s End, or it’s the most underrated movie of all-time Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Anytime I hear that he’s directing a new project, it gets me excited. Even though it didn’t work out for him well with Ant-Man, it’s still a good thing that he’s comes back with original movies. The trailer for the film was amazing as it’s expected to contain some high-octane fun and it’s one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. After hearing the early word of mouth from SXSW back in March, the beautiful thieves have spoken as Baby Driver is a must see of the summer movie season. Thank the Lord that this was pushed forward two months instead of releasing it in August.
You know you’re going into a film directed by Wright when the style fit what it’s going for. It’s well-handled in nearly every scene in here. He did a brilliant job directing and his script is sharp as always as it showcased through the quick editing choices to make it so fresh in my mind.
Going into this, I expected this to be a funny action movie. On the contrary, it’s more focused on the action with was unexpected. There are good amounts of funny moments including the scene in the trailer with the Mike Myers mask. But it has a good consistent tone through, and it didn’t need to go over-the-top at any point while also being unpredictable. I believe the opening credits was all done in one take.
Elgort is still an actor that I’m coming to like this the types of roles he’s offered. This is the best performance he’s given since The Fault In Our Stars. He doesn’t get to say much and you can see past him as the film plays along. But he was very praise-worthy in this. Other performances like Jamie Foxx as “Bats” and Jon Hamm as “Buddy” were perfect and hilarious. Kevin Spacey gives an intimidating role as Doc, the kingpin of runs these bank-robbers. He always hires Baby to do his work or there will be some consequences along the way. Kind of Joe from Reservoir Dogs in retrospect.
In some way, this felt like a toned down version of Drive mixed in with a sprinkle of La La Land for good taste. Similar kind of structure with situations like this.
The action is well-shot as shown through the fast-paced car chases that are exciting as it’s one of the coolest chase scenes I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. It hard to tell if some of them are practical enough, but as of now, it’s killer. Even the foot chase sequence was freakin’ spectacular. It didn’t involve shaky camera work to where we can’t see what’s happening. Wright knows how to direct action to perfection.
And the soundtrack offers some classic music choices that might possibly want to make you want to buy and listen to immediately after it’s done just like the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. I love that idea that Baby listens to music every time because he has a tinnitus in his eardrum after an accident, and he listens to music through his earbuds to drown out the sound. And what Wright does an outstanding job when incorporating the music in the story, the sounds around would go along with making them a part of the story. I’m going to be rocking out to “Bellbottoms” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion over and over again.
Honestly, the one issue that I might have had while watching but it could change once I see it again was probably the romance that blossoms between Baby and Debora, and though it was cute at first, it felt a little rushed as it didn’t give enough background to really be interested in a possible relationship. But I will say both of them had good chemistry.
The problem with Hollywood today is that they don’t give enough original movies a chance. We usually get bombarded with unnecessary sequels (Transformers: The Last Knight) and reboots that audiences don’t care about. A lot of people appreciate original taste that hasn’t seen the surface on the screen yet. Baby Driver should be a launching point for quality entertainment.
In the end, this was a fun and stylish action movie that perhaps doesn’t feel dull. It feels vastly different from his other films, but you can automatically tell that this is a film directed by him. This is perhaps my least favorite film in Wright’s filmography but it’s still great. It’s the type of movie that wanna shift into gear, blast that rock music on the radio, and have fun. Just comes to show that cinema is still alive these days.
Baby Driver is wickedly fresh with its action, soundtrack, and original story that flows through the rhythm of Edgar Wright’s style.