Baby Driver (2017) – Review

Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, Eiza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, CJ Jones

The Overview
After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. (Source: IMDb)

The Good
Edgar Wright is one of those directors who unabashedly wears his influences on his sleeve, and having tackled everything from spoof westerns, romantic zombie comedies, an action cop comedy and a sci-fi pub crawl, he now throws his proverbial hat into the car chase action flick ring, with the hotly anticipated Baby Driver.

Many fans were left mourning when Wright vacated the director’s chair for Ant-Man, citing creative differences with Marvel, and whilst it is hard to escape the “what ifs” of what his vision of Ant-Man could’ve been like, the fact that he was off making Baby Driver instead has made it all worth while. And then some. 

Few can nail the stylish, slick and downright cool direction as well as Edgar Wright does and his unique stamp is all over this film right from the start. Wright is equally well known for picking incredible soundtracks for his movies, and when the film itself pretty much revolves around music as Baby Driver does, it was a tall order to get it right. Of course he absolutely nails it though – as if there was any doubt about that really. Not only is it a jam-packed jukebox of amazingly eclectic songs, but they are so expertly and deftly integrated into the film itself that it would be near impossible to separate one from the other. The movie needs the music and the music needs the movie in equal measure; although you’ll still be able to blast the soundtrack in isolation as well, don’t worry about that!

Not only are the song choices killer, but they are also exquisitely choreographed and intertwined with the action and what is seen on screen. At times blaring out in isolation, and at others layered behind the sounds of the city and the action on screen, every single moment hits exactly as it needs to, beat for beat. From a perfectly chimed chink of a glass in time to the music, to the beeps and blasts from oncoming traffic matching perfectly to the brassiness of the songs, Baby Driver is an expertly orchestrated adrenalin shot of blissful, unadulterated fun. 

Performance wise this film is pretty flawless as well with Ansel Elgort undoubtedly proving he has the charisma and charm to carry a film such as this, and he is an instantly likeable antihero. Lily James is charming and sweet, and her and Elgort have a believable, if slightly (and intentionally) Hollywood relationship, and great screen chemistry. Kevin Spacey seems to be having as much fun as possible with the role given to him, and Jamie Foxx plays an over-charicatured “villain” to perfection.

With interspersed chases and heists the first half is anything but a drag, but it really shifts a gear in the second half, making the ever-so-slightly-slower first half more than worthwhile in the end. When the over-the-top and almost Tarantino-esque violence and blood splatters do come, and boy do they, it is an absolute riot. Avoiding spoilers, there are some very, very satisfying moments indeed! 

The Bad
There’s not a lot to hate about this film, very little in fact, but to nitpick slightly, it could’ve maybe done with being about 10-15 minutes shorter. At around an hour and 53 minutes, it edges on being too long, and can imagine that in repeated viewings this might be even more noticeable. 

The Verdict
I saw this movie and you should too. This movie is an absolute blast, a sheer joy from start to finish and a perfect slice of summer escapism. Expertly paying homage to classic car chase action movies, but with a modern twist, Edgar Wright proves once again he is one of the most exciting directors out there at the moment. Step aside Guardians of the Galaxy ’cause this is one seriously awesome mixtape! 

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