What Wes Anderson has done for symmetry in film, Edgar Wright has done for rhythm. Baby Driver will have your adrenaline pumping and your toe tapping from start to finish as the soundtrack carries the protagonist, the titular Baby (played by Ansel Elgort who was a part of our style shoot in the latest issue), through the fluid motions of a masterfully captured film.
Director Edgar Wright has a spotless track record thus far with Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. After watching the director’s commentary for the latter title you start to appreciate the OCD attention to detail Wright has for his films. Everything in the background, to small pinging sounds to numbers and graffiti on the walls are all there on purpose. Nothing is an accident.
These layers of detail culminate in Baby Driver, a tight film where every gun shot, squealing tire and elevator bell contributes to the soundtrack which comprises the movie.
The cast is star-studded with great performances by Kevin Spacey as the criminal mastermind, Jamie Foxx as the psychopath, & Jon Hamm alongside Eiza González as the criminal couple who are fueling their relationship with danger.
The fresh-faced Elgort does a good job as the surly silent type that sits well alongside Ryan Gosling’s Drive, and Lily James plays the girl next door love interest and not much else, unfortunately.
The best manoeuvre for reluctant heroes in crime films is the feeling of helplessness and the inability to escape from the life you’ve been given. The story drives this home well, and when you feel like Baby can’t escape, neither can you.
A fellow reviewer noted that it doesn’t do enough different (other than the beat gimmick) to change up the tried and true formulae of these sorts of crime movies. He might be right, this might be “the usual” but I like to think of it as the best possible version of “the usual”.
Our resident professional opinion Matt Rust came out wanting to go back to the old day, “It made me feel nostalgia for the old MP3 players of 2004.”
It really does as well, the number of different MP3 players and iPods on display is insane. Although what’s bizarre in one flashback of his parents, Baby is given the original iPod. It’s a warm fuzzy childhood memory, but everyone is dressed in 80s style clothing, and looks like it was filmed on a super 8 or something. I’m sure there’s a good cinematic reason for this, and not just me totally misremembering 2001.
It’s a great film, a work of art in fact. It may well be my movie of the year, which is sort of bittersweet considering Alien: Covenant which came out a few months ago was the best instalment to the franchise since Aliens. However, new IPs should trump haggard cash cows any day of the week.
After leaving the theatre my pulse was still racing and I was afraid I’d get a speeding ticket on the way home.
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