Edgar Wright. Edgar Wright. Edgar Wright.
I knew he was an extremely talented director and writer, his previous work tells us that much, but in man my mind was still blown by the tightly scripted, beautifully shot and masterfully scored Baby Driver.
Baby Driver is a heist movie, sure but its so much cleaner than the complicated, albeit equally wonderful, traditional con movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and etc. Baby Driver seems like a simple concept at its inception, but its genius is in that unhurried, straight forward storyline. I am not going to spoil the movie by gushing over the storyline, rather I am going to devote this review to the wonderful cinematography, tightly written and shot scenes and killer track.
Edgar Wright kept the dialogue tight, much like the nature of Baby –– it’s pretty spartan like. This however allows for conversations to be direct and unfussy, much like you imagine a group of bank robbers and their get-away driver’s conversations would be. It also allows for each actor in the all-star main cast of Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez, and Lily James to put all their emotions into each phrase. The tightly shot scenes, add to the pace and overall story of the film. It just wouldn’t be the same if it had been a wide-pan shot. The result are some deadly one-liners and some deadly glares as well.
Without a doubt though, the most immersive aspect of the film is the music. When Baby is listening to his music, you are listening to the music and getting ready to drive like a demon out of hell you are READY! From the very first track, Bellbottoms by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion you are completely taken in by the film and that doesn’t end until the only thing running are the credits. One of the most fun parts of the music is that, in keeping with Baby’s condition when the music is not playing (in very specific,intentional periods of time) you hear the high-pitched ring of the tinnitus that Baby deals with constantly. That feeling is uncomfortable and surreal, in those moments you are Baby.
Edgar Wright proves that an action film and caper film don’t have to be constant explosions and revving of engines to be entertaining. Don’t get me wrong there is plenty of thrilling action and car chases, but it is also a smartly written film that shines in the quiet moments. Baby and Debbie bonding over music in a laundromat, Baby communicating using ASL with his foster parent Joe, a particularly poignant relationship given the importance of sound as expression for Baby and the film, or the moments before the next song plays on one of Baby’s several i-pods (how great is is that he uses tapes and i-pods!). Baby Driver also has some kick-ass lighting and cinematography. That shot of the building that has yellow lines like a road up the entire face was beautiful, and of course the lighting during the climax scene was spot on. Trust me, just go see it.
Baby Driver elavates the typical heist and car chase movie into a verified art form, utilizing great music, daring to keep the plot simple and avoiding the trope of having too many action stars cough cough* Fast and Furious, and just delivering a thrilling movie that you want to see again as soon as you see those credits roll.