Edgar Wright’s unique directing style shines in Baby Driver, definitely his most ambitious movie to date. It is the best movie of the year so far, hands down. From adrenaline fueled car chases to great character development and funny scenes, Baby Driver has it all. It’s like a mix of La La Land (2016) and Drive (2011). You just want to sing along the entire time to the amazing soundtrack. It is a very musically driven film.
After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
First off, the cast in Baby Driver is absolutely phenomenal. Each character has a substantial amount of screen time and dialogue that the audience cares about them throughout the entire film. Edgar Wright did a good job with is direction and writing that he made every character likeable, memorable, and odd in their own way. The lead is Baby (Ansel Elgort, The Fault in our Stars) who has a hearing problem from an accident when he was little. A little “hum in the drum” as its called. Because of this, Baby listens to music to drown it out, and it makes him the best getaway driver around. That being said, the driving scenes in Baby Driver are incredible. The stunts and driving choreography are some of the best ever in a driving movie.
Doc (Kevin Spacey, House of Cards) is the man behind all of the heists. He puts the crew together and lets them execute the job, while collecting a substantial amount of the money. Baby has a debt to Doc, so he is only a few jobs away from being done. The movie does a really good job of showing that Baby is being held under Doc’s thumb, in a nice kind of way. Kevin Spacey gives another knockout performance in Baby Driver. I swear the man is getting better as he’s getting older. Jon Hamm turns in a solid performance as Buddy. He had a very ominous feel to his character the entire time. Jamie Foxx is the very funny comic relief as Bats. The entire cast had great chemistry and fed off each other well, and even though Baby is the main character, you genuinely cared about and liked all of the other characters. Edgar Wright did a great job of spreading the screen time around.
A heist movie wouldn’t be anything without a love interest, right? Baby Driver meets Debora (Lily James, Cinderella) at a diner in town. They immediately hit it off and have a cute scene where they talk about their names and songs that share that. The chemistry between Baby and Debora is great. They begin to come up with a plan to get out of the city and never look back. Their love interest provides great character development and adds a lot of depth to the film. Baby Driver does a fantastic job of blending the action, romance, and comedy. None of it felt forced and it all flowed naturally.
The two shining aspects of the film are the editing and the soundtrack. Both are Oscar Nomination worthy, no doubt. Edgar Wright has always had a very unique and pleasing editing style. He does a great job trimming down the fat and not showing us useless things that we can figure out on our own. What is great in Baby Driver is that most of the action scenes are edited perfectly to the beat of the music . It is so pleasing. The one standout scene that blew me away was a shootout in a warehouse. The gunshots were edited to the beat of the song perfectly, and it was BEAUTIFUL. Stylistic choices like that are what make Edgar Wright such a remarkable filmmaker. With Baby Driver now added to his already impressive filmography, Wright has to be known as one of the best directors around today. Baby Driver is a huge step forward in his career.
From a technical standpoint, Baby Driver fires on all cylinders. The camera work and cinematography are splendid. There are some really impressive one takes and angles of the driving scenes. The sound mixing and editing was very well done. With a music oriented movie, it is important to have it mixed right. Otherwise, it can be jarring and annoying.
There really aren’t any downsides to Baby Driver. Sure, some of the scenes are quite unbelievable at times, but that is expected in a movie like this. It knew what kind of movie it was thanks to the clear vision from Edgar Wright. Baby Driver is why we go to the movies. Its just a fun, crazy time. The pacing is good as well. There was downtime in the movie, but it never felt slow.
Baby Driver is the best movie of the summer, and will end up being one of the best of 2017. It is so original and well written. With a strong performance from Ansel Elgort and great directing from Edgar Wright, Baby Driver accelerates into elite movie status. Do not miss this one in theaters.