So I just got back from seeing the new Edgar Wright movie known as ‘Baby Driver’. I’m already a huge fan of Wrights work and rate his films very highly. As soon as I saw the trailer for Baby Driver I got some good tingles. I’m going to say from the start that I did enjoy the film, but I have some mixed feelings about it. I’m going to try work out exactly what made me feel this way and pick apart the movie. This review will be Spoiler free so no need to worry.
So lets start with an overall plot of the movie so we know what we’re talking about. Baby is a getaway driver for people who like to pull of heists for a living. An accident at a young age left him with the condition known as tinnitus, leaving him scarred for life. To drown out the constant ringing in his ears he listens to collections of mix tapes that he creates. Because of this, the actions and sounds of the movie directly sync up to the soundtrack. Essentially our little Baby falls in love and things go a bit sour for him.
Moving onto the first act of the movie, which is my favourite area of the entire movie. Where we get to see Baby drive masterfully around the city along to some kick ass music. This is the best area of the film for a lot of reasons, first of all the car chases. While car chases are a constant throughout the whole movie, they don’t beat the first 2 that kick start our thrill ride. These scenes are masterfully directed by Edgar Wright who maintains his signature style that we’ve all loved for years.
The second bonus goes to the music, which is used intelligently throughout these chases and in between scenes. There’s a long scene involving Baby getting some coffee, and he walks down the street with honks of cars singing along with him. These are the kind of scenes we have learned to expect from Wright, looking at his intro to Shaun of the Dead. However the music working along side the movie works on higher levels than Guardians of the Galaxy achieved, and becomes one of the highlights of the entire movie.
While I am specifying my love for the first act I am simply isolating the area with the cars and the music. While viewing I couldn’t help but feel the music hadn’t become the core focus anymore. It made me feel like I wasn’t watching an Edgar Wright film with it’s unique jokes and comedic flare. I think that’s one of the problems I brought in to this movie before it started. I’d watched Scott Pilgrim and Hot Fuzz a few days before and It made me expect comedy on the same level. But this isn’t Hot Fuzz, this is Baby Driver and it’s something else completely. I wouldn’t say I wish I had lowered my expectations, rather they should have been for something else.
The movie does like to take a slower pace for a while during the 2nd act, but you might that good or bad. What I saw was the movies pace slowing down with the characters emotions, who started fast and now just wants to slow down. Speaking of slowing down, the romance is the key focus of this act as we meet Debora. Debora is well acted by Lily James and she is a good fit along side Ansel Elgort for a sweet relationship. While it can be described as rushed, it also feels reckless which I think suits the characters who have nothing left in town for them.
As for the other cast members they mostly just fill the role with Jamie Foxx being a crazy guy. But John Hamm was my favourite out of the heist crew and you can tell his character was written around him. He’s a little bit quirky but can get really bad if you mess with his love Darling. However my favourite character was Joseph played by CJ Jones, a lovely foster parent who’s death. Also if you’re a Kevin Spacey fan then you don’t have to worry about seeing him do his thing. He’s quite a sinister guy who you don’t always understand. I find myself questioning his motives every time he’s on screen and you can’t tell if he’s there to help.
I liked the movie for sure, I just went into the cinema expecting something else. At first I thought I was being served that from the opening scene, but it seemed to go into a different direction later on. I guess you can see me as one of those old gits saying “I don’t get all this hype!”. But I just seem to be out of touch with this film and I’m not exactly sure why it leaves me with that taste. I just have to recommend not going into this film expecting a cornetto/comedic movie and you’ll probably be scoring incredibly high.
I was going to score it a 7.5 but thinking about my enjoyment of the film compared to something else I’ve watched it deserves better I feel. Edgar Wright is an excellent director and you can see his heart and soul in this movie. No I’m not selling out I just enjoy it a lot more than most films. For that reason:
The movie and Edgar Wright deserve a 8/10