Movie Reviews

Baby Driver – A Vehicular Symphony

I’ve been looking forward to this one for awhile. I was curious since it had been a passion project for writer/director Edgar Wright, going back and forth between other things since 1995 and not finishing it until 2011. It is definitely worth the wait.

Synopsis:  A talented, young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams, Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss, he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. (Sony Pictures)

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, and Lily James

Writer: Edgar Wright

Director: Edgar Wright

Rating: R

Running Time: 113mins

Trailer: 

The trailers hinted at an impressive soundtrack but the film’s use of music proved vital to the story with great success. Everything moved like a finely-choreographed symphony so the music never felt out of place. The film is of course about a talented getaway driver named Baby (Elgort) who desperately wants out of his life of crime who can’t seem to get away from his boss named Doc (Spacey). Things change for him once he meets a waitress named Debora (James) who he sees as his way out. Getting out will be easier said than done.

Some may find the film’s execution to be more style over substance and while that may be the case, both are close. The story is mostly told from Baby’s perspective as we watch him dance around to and sing whatever music he was listening to and it was very easy to have fun right with him. He was a man of few words, however, when the music played, he came to life. It was his escape in more ways than one. The story may not have covered his backstory very much but there was pain there.

Although Baby was a peculiar character, it fit nicely with the rest of the film as it made him stand out among the film’s eccentric cast of characters while also helping to set him apart from the standard action hero. He wasn’t the standard action hero seeing that he was mostly a passenger (pun intended) during the proceedings until he was thrust into action. His arc may not have been the most original but it was still compelling to watch due to Baby’s likeability.

As mentioned, the film boasts an eccentric cast of characters with different senses of morality who contrasted that of Baby. The main three of those were part of Doc’s crew and included a couple named Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez) and a straight up crazy man named Bats (Jamie Foxx). The chemistry between all of them was excellent, making them extremely fun to watch. All of this begins and ends with the amazing script and snappy dialog full of one-liners.

As good as the film’s use of music and soundtrack was, so was the action. All the car chase scenes were expertly shot and exciting to watch alone but the music brought them to the next level. Everything about the film flowed and this continued here with with sequences featuring very little editing. Other action scenes such as gun battles we also exciting to watch and managed to sync to the music which admittedly isn’t easy.

In an otherwise fun film, perhaps the weakest element was the relationship between Baby and Debora. They were kind of fun to watch together but it almost felt like an afterthought amongst everything else. This acting was great all around with Elgort being the standout. He single-handedly carried the film with his screen presence and likability. Baby may not have said much, however, he did not let him get overshadowed by the other characters. James was good with what she had to do. Spacey was menacing and everyone else excelled at their various quirks.

Overall, this was an excellent, well-shot, action film, standing out above the rest thanks to its original combination of music and action, and is elevated by an amazing script and great performances.

Score: 9.5/10

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