Baby Driver is the latest film that’s written and directed by Edgar Wright. It’s about a driver, named Baby, who’s a wiz behind the wheel when he’s escaping the police. Being involved with criminals leads to some no so nice situations. The film stars; Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx.
The good; the car scenes are amazing. When Baby gets behind the wheel and works his magic the camera really captures the skill of what a driver can do. Not only is the stunt driver driving the “hero” car where our attention is supposed to be, but the car with the camera has an equally impressive driver you places the camera in the right spot. It’s a wonderful dance that these cars do for us to get this visceral feel for high speed driving in an urban setting.
The film has a very Edgar Wright-y scene with the main credits, if you’re a fan of his movies you’ll immediately pick it out. What a wonderful way to give us the opening credits and also get an insight into how Baby’s head works and how he sees the world. Along with that there are many of the film making “tricks” that Wright uses (matching image to image for an edit, or the sound design used with a smash cut…) yet it’s in a movie that’s more traditionally crafted, with all of that I didn’t miss a single beat, not until afterwards did I think of this. Bravo to Wright for crafting a movie that has his stamp on it and is also a more “traditional/straight forward” movie at the same time.
The characters! Everyone is well thought out and planned. If any one of these characters was suffering in the development it would’ve unraveled the whole thing. It’s amazing that complex characters with consistent actions are well served and served the plot. This often does not happen in modern day films, I feel the need to point it out in Baby Driver, to serve as an example to the movie going audience and the future film makers.
The bad; I wanted more stunt car driving. It’s funny how the trailers used all of the Edgar Wright-ism moments but the movie wasn’t chalked full of them. The trailers made it seem like there would be more car chases and stunt work, boo to you marketing! Once again you’ve led us down the wrong road (see what I did there?), the saving grace is that movie was engaging from the moment go that what was presented was just as satisfying as what was advertised.
Overall, bravo! Go see this in the theatre on the big screen with loud speakers the way it was intended. One thing that isn’t mentioned above is the use of music. Wright manages to craft a story around music, it’s essentially a series of music videos strung together, yet it serves the story and is justified in the way it’s presented (unlike some movies where scenes are built around music that serves no purpose to the story or plot).
Edgar Wright does a marvelous job in creating a film that’s more of a traditional crime story, yet it is undoubtedly Edgar Wright’s movie, it’s fun from start to finish. I’ll be buying this on bluray when it comes out.