| After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Baby Driver is Wright’s most restrained film, taking itself mostly seriously, and leaving behind some of the manic anarchy of his farcical past. His high-energy style still comes through, however, making every scene of dialogue as engaging as the intense and inventive action sequences. With a main character who rarely speaks, Wright takes “show-don’t-tell” to a whole new level.
It’s an absolute masterclass in editing. If anyone shoots for the edit, it’s Edgar Wright. Baby Driver focuses a lot on music, and almost any other director would pick a song and throw it into the scene. Wright, on the other hand, goes the extra mile and has every scene go with the beat and add to the songs being played. Shootouts, conversations, and even characters walking follow the songs and add for some really extraordinary moments that you can’t help but smile at.
The soundtrack to this film is also excellent. There’s so much variety and you can tell that each song was carefully picked to fit the scenes they were used in. It’s a soundtrack that makes you want to listen to it right after the movie ends. Just put on your sunglasses and go for a crazy stunt drive……but not for real though, i’m just being an idiot…… 😎
The car chases are brilliantly shot, eschewing the dull over-the-top silliness of the Fast & Furious franchise for something much more grounded and much more exciting. There is one long take in the beginning that’s absolutely fantastic (keep and eye out for the graffiti in the background). The lack of special effects keeps up the tension with actual stunt driving, continuing the good trend of recent actions films going back to doing things for real, showing an understanding of the genre.
“The moment you catch feelings is the moment you catch a bullet.”
Ansel Elgort is quite good. Elgort and Lily James, who plays his love interest, share quite a bit of chemistry and are a large reason behind why we choose to root for them. Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm are as reliable as ever and Eiza Gonzalez, who was a bit of a wild card as I saw her once in one of those overdramatic novelas my mother watches, did pretty well. Jamie Foxx is surprisingly quite menacing here, which surprised me. He helped to build a great deal of tension to the movie and its main character. The only downside is that of Jon Bernthal’s role is almost more of a cameo.
And that gets me to the script. While directing wise he is at his absolute prime, it’s easily Wright’s weakest script to date, with the lack of a co-writer like Simon Pegg it is very interesting in seeing what details of the screenplays of Wright’s previous movies were all him, like delivering exposition and dealing with some of the character’s laborious backstories. But ‘Baby Driver’ is a sign of a director who is moving on to different subjects and styles, but not leaving behind what makes his work his own. It’s an interesting exercise in creative growth and I greatly respect that.
In a year that is probably gonna be overrun with bloated, mindless spectacles, it’s refreshing to see something that revels in its small-scale originality while also playing with the larger genre inspirations it draws from. Baby Driver is excellent entertainment (certainly the most fun I had in a theater in quite some time) that delivers an exciting and energetic film that revolves around music, action and as said before, a masterclass in film editing. Just go see it on June 28th baby!
‘Baby Driver’ gets an 8.5/10
Shot on 35's Rating Sheet: 9.5 – 10.0: Excellent! 8.5 – 9.5: Fantastic, but with minor flaws 7.5 – 8.5: Great, but with issues 6.5 – 7.5: Okay, but with major issues 5.5 – 6.5: Had potential, but falls flat hard. 4.5 – 5.5: Disaster!
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