Unlike my other reviews, I’m starting with my rating: Baby Driver gets a euphoric Must See rating. Baby Driver doesn’t just get a review from me. For one, I’m extremely biased as Edgar Wright’s films are among my favorites. I’ve studied his films more than any other and had my students do the same last year. More people in Lake Wales know who Scott Pilgrim is because of me. So, it was likely this film would either be among my favorites or become hated if it didn’t live up to my extremely high expectations of his craftsmanship. I loved it.
Baby Driver rocks!!!
From this point I’m going to speak freely about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING from this movie. Consider this your SPOILER WARNING! So, again, don’t read past this if you don’t want to have Baby Driver Spoiled!
SPOILERS MAY HAPPEN…though mildly
Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a driver for a very organized criminal organization led by Doc (Kevin Spacey). As the trailer tells us, Baby has a hum in his ears that he drowns out with music. The music also helps him perform his job. This allows Edgar Wright to create some amazing sequences with the visuals, the soundtrack, and the action. The first scene out of the gate features an amazing driving sequence and shows how intelligent Baby is.
The rest of the main cast includes CJ Jones, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, and Jamie Foxx are all so fantastic. Foxx is a powerful villain who constantly put the audience on edge. Hamm is an intriguing character that goes through the most change and his connection with Gonzalez makes for a powerful duo. Buddy and Darling clearly mirrors Baby and Deborah (James). The new love of Baby and Deborah is but a spark of the burning passion that Buddy and Darling demonstrate. As the film goes on the spark becomes an inferno (said like Keanu Reeves in Bram Stoker’s Dracula).
Wright’s visual and technical style has solidified. After the heist at the beginning, Baby is sent to get coffee and on the way back he is jamming out to his song. The words of the song are popping up in the world as is the imagery within the song. It’s reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World here as text was used frequently to supplement the audio. His use of environmentally motivated wipe transitions are still utilized even more masterfully than in his past. Of course, the action sequences, the framing of scenes, and the storytelling are all topnotch.
The fairytale elements
This is a movie that I will see at least a few more times in the theater. Watching it with the mindset of a fairytale really makes it all the better. Baby is the prince and Deborah is the princess. Doc is the dispatcher, Bats (Foxx) is the raging dragon, and Buddy is the false donor who initially seems friendly, but that’s only until you cross them. The world looks like ours, but it has a slightly different set of rules. It’s familiar, but different.
This movie will feel familiar, but it’s different. It captures the imagination and makes you feel things for the characters involved, whether love, hate, despair, or fear. The visuals are stunning and the music is awesome. It only further cements my claim of Edgar Wright being my favorite director. I even love that Deborah’s first name tag reads “Jonathan.” I’m just going to pretend that Edgar left that little easter egg for me.