Film Review: Baby Driver

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
June 24th, 2017

Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Price:
Perfection

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On June 24, 2017
Last modified:June 24, 2017

Summary:

Baby Driver (2017) is the celebration of filmmaking needed in this generational shift into big-budget sequels and established franchises. Edgar Wright joins music with a masterpiece in action cinema.

Price:
Perfection

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On June 24, 2017
Last modified:June 24, 2017

Summary:

Baby Driver (2017) is the celebration of filmmaking needed in this generational shift into big-budget sequels and established franchises. Edgar Wright joins music with a masterpiece in action cinema.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Edgar Wright’s Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy is regarded as the best British comedy series in decades, balancing both smart humor and solid performances. The World's End (2013) concluded that series, but what's next for the acclaimed director? Find out as Jordan Samuel reviews the funky Baby Driver (2017).

Film Review: Baby Driver (2017)

A young and talented getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the personal beat of his preferred soundtrack (to combat tinnitus from an accident as a child), to be the best in the world of crime, as music heightens his focus and reflexes to extreme levels. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a mysterious criminal (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when an ill-fated heist threatens his life, love, and chance of freedom.

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) has one soft spot in my heart. I've studied Cornetto Trilogy at various points of my life. The filmmaker's reliance on classic storytelling and unique blends of comedy got me interested in the subject. Hot Fuzz (2007) alone stands tall as his best work. The odd take on police officers was both a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody.

The follow-up The World's End (2013) showcased his potential to go down as the best British director working today. Marvel Studios worked with the director for Ant-Man (2015), which sadly ended with Wright leaving the project indefinitely on a sour note.

Since then, we haven’t heard much from Edgar Wright until he announced Baby Driver (2017) an action crime-musical-comedy hybrid. But does Wright's signature style work in this environment?

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Baby Driver (2017) is not only Edgar Wright's best project, but its the best and original action movie in a decade. Blending groundbreaking musical elements into a crime/comedy, with characters the audience will root for. Edgar Wright brings an utterly original movie to the table, in a dying action genre; as within the first minute we're introduced to a perfectly choreographed chase scene with awesome music by Jon Spencer.

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It becomes obvious that the film isn't just set to wonderful music, but is created with it in mind. The car chases are unlike anything ever put to the big screen. Baby Driver adds intensity and unpredictability into these moments - shaming other modern Hollywood directors.

Harkening back to classic crime show Starsky & Hutch (1975), Edgar Wright scales back on the overcomplex action sequences seen in other present-day franchises.

Baby Driver's story is centered around Baby, the mysterious figure who hitches our narrative to the beats on his iPod. He's a getaway driver that has worked for Atlanta crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey) ever since he could see over the top of the steering wheel; paying off a debt job-by-job.

Edgar Wright does not water down story elements, instead he leaves the audience wondering what's going to happen next. A breath of fresh air in the summer movie season; giving time to develop characters through facial interactions, dialogue and heavy moments, without slowing down the pace.

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars) gives one career-defining performance as Baby, the getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus that he recieved after a car accident that killed his parents. He blocks out the noises with music. Relying on facial expression and charisma, this role is propelling the young actor into an up and coming major player in Hollywood.

Elgort shares on-screen chemistry with the cast, including comedic moments with Kevin Spacey which don’t go unnoticed. But he connects especially well with Deborah (Lilly James), as they both truly sell the whole romantic elements of the picture. Even though it sometimes comes across as forced into the story. Edgar Wright does the whole love-interest angle with total finesse.

 

Deborah is a waitress who makes 'The Baby Driver' see beyond his criminal life, swimming into the scene with the song B-A-B-Y by Carla Thomas blaring in the background. They both have a desire to run away together but this is cut short when Doc decides to demand another job.

Deborah is the odd link, because outside the romantic focus, she doesn’t do anything else. Edgar Wright does point us to an inticing backstory- which is never truly explained. I would have preferred a larger focus on these elements, but it never pulled me out of the awesome on-screen chemistry.

Supporting cast members (Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Jon Berthnal and Eiza Gonzalez) are some of the film's standout strengths. They might be walking comedy clichés, but there is something timeless in their portrayals; these great performances add to the whole story of Baby Driver.

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Totally wouldn’t mind future titles focusing on these characters, because what’s shown here is absolute perfection.

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Credit: TriStar Pictures

Action and music come into one, with Baby Driver something not seen in cinema for a long time. It's a story which won’t be topped soon. Explaining it all within the review would make this a completely different article, but just expect some of the best action sequences since Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).

Baby Driver is the celebration of filmmaking that is needed in this generational shift into big-budget sequels and established franchises. Edgar Wright joins music with a masterpiece in action cinema.

Baby Driver (2017)

  • 5

Perfection

Baby Driver (2017) is the celebration of filmmaking needed in this generational shift into big-budget sequels and established franchises. Edgar Wright joins music with a masterpiece in action cinema.

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