By a Film Student and Writer with No Passion to either Write or Make Films.
(I know the films usually reviewed on this site are underground and indie or some shit, but this film is worth it.)
Edgar Wright is a genius writer-director, mostly because he’s British. Responsible for the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy consisting of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End, as well as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Wright has created four amazing films and has already proved that he’s a master of his craft. So it’s no surprise that Baby Driver is, in some ways, a masterpiece.
Baby Driver focuses on getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort), a young man with tinnitus who listens to music nonstop to drown out the constant ringing in his ears. His boss (Kevin Spacey) has Baby under his thumb after Baby took his car and his product and crashed it, and uses Baby and his skills as payback. Of course, Baby isn’t a huge fan of working for him or being in the crime game, and wants out after meeting Debora (Lily James), a passionate music lover who wants out of her life as a simple waitress at a diner.
What makes this movie fantastic is the soundtrack, editing, choreography, and cinematography. The soundtrack takes a baseline established by earlier Tarantino works (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction) and, more recently, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy duology and expands it to include a wide variety of genres and time periods that have great dramatic qualities that works not only as a solid mix to listen to but works in the film. The editing and choreography of the film really takes this soundtrack a step further, with the entirety of the movie’s cuts and a majority of the character’s moves syncing to the beats of the soundtrack in flawless motion. The cinematography and shots made this film too, with a wide array of long, extended takes that let you sink in the moment, the movements, and the music, especially during the chase scenes. It really lets you soak in the action on screen.
While technically this film is borderline flawless, a few hiccups come from the characters. The characters were fine, but weren’t entirely fleshed out. The love interest between Baby and Debora in the film feels two dimensional at points, and though it works for what it is, it could have used extra time progressing or have extra focus on it. The counter example is Buddy and Darling (Jon Hamm and Eiza González), partners in crime who work with Baby. They actually have moderately decent chemistry and good emotion throughout and you feel for them, despite the fact that they’re criminals. There wasn’t much else on the emotional appeal, though some hints of emotion come through Baby and his past. It’s also worth noting that, despite the characters being somewhat weak, the writing itself is pretty damn good, and the dialogue between characters is smartly written.
Overall, the film is smart, filled with fun scenes and great action with minor flaws that are still minuscule all things considered. I strongly recommend this film.
Baby Driver is currently in theaters. Go pay for a ticket and watch it, it’s worth it. If you’re interested, Edgar Wright recently did a Reddit AMA around the film, which you can read here.