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Movie Review: Baby Driver
Written and directed by Edgar Wright, Baby Driver is an action film which uses music to push along its crime narrative. It stars Ansel Elgort, Lily James, John Bernthal, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Eiza González. Ansel Elgort is "Baby", a young man whose love for music gives him the focus to be an extremely talented getaway driver. He works a life of crime in order to support him and his foster father, Joseph (CJ Jones). He hopes to get out of the game soon but he is Kevin Spacey's "Doc" most trustworthy and skillful driver. Thus, there are no plans on letting him go anytime soon. When Baby meets Debora (a beautiful and southern girl-next-door), he now has a tough decision to make. Either, he continues his perpetual criminal lifestyle or rides out into the sunset with his new babe.
Even though Baby Driver is a music-based action film, it is also a criminal film at heart. It is jam-packed with heists, bank robberies, criminal mischief, and vehicular manslaughter. But, while all that may sound exciting, it is the brilliant cast and characters of the movie that make it worth watching. There are multiple crew members throughout the film with their own monikers and personalities. Interesting enough, they're all "special" and unique in their own way.
The film gets its most comedic and entertaining moments within the dialogue between members of the crew. To put it lightly, they are an odd bunch. But, for better or worst, they get the job done. I should mention that comedy and crime in this movie go hand in hand. From hair-brained antics, to impulsive decision making, there's never a dull moment. And oddly enough, their ability to work as a team is the essential and key factor to what makes the action sequences so intense and exhilarating. There's no "I" in team and everyone pulls their own weight. And if there's still any questions on the crime elements of this film, think Grand Theft Auto mixed together with a kicka** iPod playlist. That should do the trick.
You probably guessed by the title of the film, that the movie's main selling point is its driving. And besides the moments shown in the trailer, does it deliver? To be frank, yes. In every way, the driving in this film is some of the best stunt driving I've seen to date. Everything seen in the trailer is just a teaser for what's to come. Baby does not use one vehicle but multiple vehicles. There's drifting, brilliantly choreographed defensive and offensive driving, and great camera angles to emphasize the speed of those vehicles as well. The sound of the engines, screeching of the tires, andswitching of the gears is satisfying and loud. Not enough can be said about the vehicle stunts in this film other than experience it for yourself.
Baby Driver's illustrious soundtrack fuels EVERYTHING inside of the film. The hit-filled tracklist features many artists from across many decades of music and certain songs only play to fit certain moods. Baby has a mild form of tinnitus in his ears do to a car accident he was in as a child. In order to drown out the sound, he plays music. Literally, he has many iPod's each for a different mood or day. So while watching Baby Driver, you are in his world. The music is creatively edited to fit the rhythm and beats of the sounds you hear onscreen. Down to the motions of the characters, gunfire, dialogue, and scene transitions, there is a track for everything. Baby's iPOD playlist influences the movie in big ways and the film is almost perfect because of it.
So as you can probably tell right now, I love this film; But, there's a reason why I hesitate on calling this movie a masterpiece. To be clear, it is as close to a masterpiece as it can get but there are some issues. One of which is that suspension of disbelief rears its head too many times and contradicts the serious crime moments of the film. Admittedly, it is hilarious to see a person cheat death. But, come back too many times and it just becomes ridiculous and cheapens the seriousness of the dramatic tones of the film.
However, overall, Baby Driver is a fantastic and reinvigorating entry into the action and crime genre. It is a complete and adventurous tale with a fulfilling ending. The use of the soundtrack to masterfully edit the film's action, driving, and heist sequences make the movie a joy to watch. At almost 2 hours long, this is a long film. But, with every scene quickly transitioning to the next, it doesn't feel that way. Also, you'll enjoy the chase and parkour scenes just as much as the vehicle stunts. In addition, the casting is great and acting is the best, bar none. Everyone no matter how small their part has something to bring to the table.
Baby Driver is rated R and now showing in theaters