Baby Driver (2017) Film Review

Edgar Wright returns as director of an original film that reverts back to old classic films about bank heists, car chases and a high kicking soundtrack.

Baby Driver is about a getaway driver called Baby, who owes a high ranking criminal boss, played by Kevin Spacey, a lot of money and must drive to repay his debt. Baby has a hearing condition that playing music softens the pain in his ears. Baby is shy but a brilliant driver that wants to get out of the life of crime but finds it difficult to escape.

This is a thrill ride of a film that does bring the old styling of films like the French Connection and the Italian Job. The film kicks off with a fast paced car chase that is beautifully shot with wide sweeping angles. This is not like the Fast and Furious playbook where they cut quickly and doesn’t really show you much. Baby Driver gives you an awareness of where you are and how fast and skillful the driving is. This is not a montage of images but each chase tells a story. Every action piece is enhanced by the music Baby plays. Each song fits the rhythm of the action and Baby Driver is a good example of how sound and the image can work in tandem.

Baby Driver relies on the soundtrack to create the pace of the film. Edgar Wright perfectly describes this film as a musical and I couldn’t disagree. The soundtrack drives the film and the action takes the passenger seat reading the map giving the music directions. This relationship is the center of the film. This is reminiscent of the Guardian of the Galaxy films that use music in this way. A fantastic soundtrack as well, utilizing a wide range of decades and genres; ranging from T-Rex to The Commodores.

The cast plays stereotypical heist characters but it somehow fits the film. This film is a throwback to old heist films so it does seem fitting to have characters that fits the archetypes known to the genre. Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and Elsa Gonzalez fulfills the archetypes and plays off each other so well. There are moments of hilarity during each heist and every moment Baby is driving, there is no repeated movement or any hint of a staleness in camera shots. The cast was perfect in the roles and the relationship between Baby and Debora also fits the stereotypical young starlets that want to disappear on a road somewhere. The irony of being one of the most refreshing original stories in the past 5 years relies so much on previous genre tropes but in a world of sequels and remakes, it does beautifully work.

 Baby Driver is a thrilling ride that doesn’t stop at all. Once you are sat in your seat, strapped in with your boots spurred, Baby Driver does not put the foot off the gas. You will laugh, cry and have your hands grasp the arms of the chair. Edgar Wright in my knowledge, has not directed a bad film yet and Baby Driver continues that streak. Baby Driver is one of the most refreshing and enthralling pieces of cinema released in the past decade. This is one to watch, as soon as you can.

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