‘Baby Driver’ is straight Bananas!

If any of my readers have never seen an Edgar Wright-directed movie. you are truly missing out. From Shaun of the Dead to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Wright’s films have always been filled with three-dimensional characters, comedy, and action to keep audiences entertained from beginning to end. Edgar has always had help with the writing of the films he has directed, but never ventured on his own with both writing and directing. Until his passion project came to life with Baby Driver.

As I stated in an earlier post of when I met Edgar Wright a few weeks ago at Awesome Con, I got the chance to watch the first five minutes of the film. I was hooked after those first five minutes of excitement and the rest of the film did not disappoint.

Baby Driver tells the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort), a getaway driver under the payroll of Atlanta crime boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey). Baby drives the car for Doc’s team of thieves as they conduct heists all over the city, displaying an impressive skill set behind the wheel. But Baby has dreams of getting out of the life, which is heightened when he meets Debora (Lily James). When a high-profile robbery fails, Baby must use his driving skills to escape not only the police, but his former teammates in crime.

The basic plot is simple that audiences have seen it done many times: guy is in with some bad people, meets girl, wants to get out of said life, has to go through hell to do it. It’s how that story is executed and how the characters go about it that make the difference. We also have to especially care about the characters. Edgar Wright completes this task by going into the backstory of Baby and his love for music, stemming from his mother. Kevin Spacey’s crime boss fitted the veteran actor like a glove. The quiet boss didn’t need to shout to display his power and influence, warning those what could happen if he is crossed. The other cast members all had great moments, specifically Jamie Foxx’s hair-triggered Bats. He became the wild card of the heist team, not knowing what he would do and providing plenty of funny moments to balance out the chaos he caused. Jon Hamm’s Buddy and Eiza Gonzalez’s Darling were the Bonny and Clyde of the team, both of them shined in their roles as the violent couple. I can see why Jon Hamm stayed with this project as development came and went over the years.

The tagline of this movie was “All you need is one killer track”. Baby Driver has a soundtrack of killer tracks to accompany this action-comedy flick. From Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms” in the opening minutes, Lily James singing Carla Thomas’ “B-A-B-Y”, classic Commodores song “Easy”, and Barry White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up”, this soundtrack does not have a shortage of music. Baby doesn’t have many lines in the first two acts of the film as most of his scenes have music playing as audiences get to hear what’s coming through his iPod earbuds. This movie could be a borderline-musical because of this, but this adds to the charm and originality of the film. I’ll definitely be downloading this soundtrack very soon!

Edgar Wright’s directorial skill was amazing, panning the camera around during the chase scenes as Baby evaded police cars and each close call. Wright used very little CGI as we’ve come to expect with some of these action films, choosing to shoot this movie old school style and that helped with the originality. Word of mouth and fans of Wright’s past works helped get this movie a solid audience when I went to go see it. This should be a sign for Hollywood; along with films like Get Out and Split, Baby Driver proves audiences will gather for an original movie that isn’t based on previous films or part of a universe. I hold this film as one of the best of the summer and one of my top films so far this year.

Even if you have never seen a previous film directed by the English director, I would recommend that everyone go see Baby Driver!


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