Edgar Wright is one of those filmmakers that film nerds almost universally embrace and I personally feeling excitement when the director releases something new. A true modern genre director in the way Tarrantino is, yet his signature is style rather than dialogue. Wright now moves to the crime genre in his latest Baby Driver. In some ways, it feels like his most mature film to date yet relies more on its style than its substance. Mind you, it’s brilliant style and will entertain you thoroughly. Find out more in our review.
Baby is a getaway driver who after a car accident as a child suffers a constant ringing in his ears. To allow him to function he has a constant soundtrack in his ear through a collection of iPods. When he falls in love with a diner waitress he wants to escape the criminal life but his boss and the crew eh works with have other plans.
Baby Driver tells a familiar story. It could be the story of any crime saga, someone looking to escape the life and yet being forced back in. It’s not the story of Edgar Wright’s films that are necessarily the most compelling or original factor but the way in which they are presented. On that level Baby Driver feels like an amazingly fresh take on familiar territory.
The best way to talk about it, is like a music video for that is the easiest way to understand it. Have You ever noticed that a music video is more likely to have unconventional editing or shots? That’s the same as Baby Driver. It’s style, it’s speed, its action and even at times to elicit emotion. It’s also a truly technical marvel.
Taking the analogy further just like a music video has the killer sounds so too does Baby Driver has a wonderful soundtrack. It’s probably a slightly odd and out of place point to the talk about the music of a movie but You see it’s a film with rhythms and beats and the events of the movement are often in time with it. Gun shots, running across a surface, a car crashing all have their own sounds but also their own soundtrack to sync with. It’s unusual but somewhat enthralling approach. The music is eclectic stretching across all kinds of genres even if you hate the movie you might be looking for that soundtrack.
Despite all this going on Baby Driver doesn’t feel like its peddling some gimmicky hook. It’s still a solid and mature film. It’s a mix of things too. At times, a crime thriller as the team pull off a major robbery. At others, it’s a thriller as Baby tries to escape his past and run away with his girlfriend. A lot of the time it’s a fun comedy from situational laughs to witty one liner it has it all. There are also quiet moments of romance and visceral but not always shown horror filled violence. It all meshes well and doesn’t feel like separate and divided parts.
Baby Driver has quite a diverse ensemble who are all willing to play in the sometime quirky world of the movie. Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm are expectedly strong although Hamm is absolutely terrifying by the film’s end. Ansel Elgort continues to grow in depth as a young actor and this is the right choice to move him away from his previous teen filmography. I’m a little bit undecided about Jamie Foxx who plays the movies true first villain as I think I am largely about anything other than Ray that he has done. Still the movie makes some structural choices that give his character more resonance even if it’s not his performance that does it.
In the end for everything Baby Driver does right in terms of style it feels a little cold at times. The love story at the centre of the movie is pleasant enough but you don’t particularly care about it. It’s not a lack of realism but more a lack of heart that makes it at times feel a little bit soulless. One of the draw cards of Wright’s film has been the heart on the sleeve attitude that he often brings to his genre cinema. Here it’s lacking and while you know who the heroes are and you want them to succeed, it’s more an intellectual desire than one based on a whole lot of feeling. In saying that there are glimmers of heart especially between Baby and his foster father but are less central to the plot and so doesn’t shake off the cold feeling that the film sometimes elicits.
Baby Driver Review Cheat Sheet
Baby Driver continues Edgar Wright’s run of doing movies about familiar genres and breath style, fun and freshness into them. This time with crime he makes us laugh, cringe and be thrilled all the time while tapping our feels and treating us to the visual smorgasbord. While there is little wrong with the film it lacks the heart of his earlier movies and while hugely enjoyable lacks the feels that one might hope for. Overall extremely enjoyable!
+ Extremely stylish and technical filmmaking.
+ Wide and interesting cast that works well in a sometimes eccentric movie.
+Everything has a rythym with a killer electic soundtrack
+ a mix of all types of film genres keeps the whole thing entertaining.
-a little bit cold, emotionally speaking.
-Jamie Foxx ???