Baby Driver is so far, one of the best films of 2017. It’s intelligent, it’s original, it’s fun, fast paced and constantly evolves as it moves along. It’s also a huge risk for a studio to take, so please, please, please go out and support this film with your dollar. Don’t let 2017’s Baby Driver be 2016’s The Nice Guys. Put the super-hero fanaticism aside for a week, and go support a fun, different, creative film, so we get more exceptional work like this!
Baby Driver comes from writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). It’s about a guy called Baby played by Ansel Elgort (The Fault in our Stars and the Divergent movies) who, due to an accident as a child, has tinnitus, a constant ringing in his ears, and listens to music to drown that out. He also happens to be the best get away driver the crime boss Doc, played by Kevin Spacey (American Beauty, Se7en, L.A. Confidential, House of Cards), has ever worked with.
This premise sets up some of the best, if not the very best, editing and sound mixing, ever. Every scene is has an undercurrent of a song, setting the tone, dictating the shots; you’re tapping your foot to the beat of the song and the film is opening and closing car doors, dropping cups of coffee on a table, and shooting gun fire to the same beats your foot is tapping to. The technical prowess and ingenuity of Wright’s film making is striking in Baby Driver. From one of the longest and most complicated opening tracking shots, to the way the script twists and turns in unexpected yet satisfying ways, to the near orgasmic levels of editing and sound design that add touches and flourishes to the finished product without ever becoming overbearing, Baby Driver is pretty damn perfect.
As well as Edgar Wright bringing his awesomeness to this passion project, is a stellar cast where everyone, absolutely everyone has a magnificent performance. In addition to Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey, you’ve got Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey,) playing Baby’s love interest, Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained, Ray), Jon Hamm (Mad Men, Keeping up with the Joneses), Eliza González (Jem and the Holograms, From Dusk Till Dawn) and even Jon Bernthal (Daredevil, Sicario), rounding out the various villainous crew members of Spacey’s underground criminals. I also have to highlight CJ Jones as utterly scene stealing in every scene he’s in. But better than simply one, or all, of these actors giving phenomenal performances in Baby Driver, is that all of them fit perfectly together, within the (very unique) tone of this film, and that’s indeed a testament again, to Wright’s directing.
Further to Wright’s directing accolades, is his writing. As soon as you think you’ve got Baby Driver figured out, it takes a turn in a direction you didn’t see coming. It moves along in a satisfying way, but at the same time, how it’s gets to its destination isn’t the path you’d think it takes. This film has surprises, twists and turns, and who you get as a prime antagonist is most definitely not who you’re anticipating.
In terms of negatives, there’s not a whole lot to complain about. Everything you might dislike about Baby Driver has much more to do with what you like in a film, and much less to do with the film itself. I might play tiny nitpicks with the long, tracking shot at the start, clearly establishing the tone, that feels like it maybe could have come a little later in the film? Possibly after Baby meets Debora? But then again, it establishes this world so clearly, that it throws you in there headfirst, and you either jump on board of get off the flight. In essence, I can understand if Baby Driver isn’t for you, but you can’t deny this is one hell of a movie.
Please, please, please go out and support creative, risk-taking, intelligent film making like Baby Driver, go support every brilliant role in this film, the ingenious writing, directing and editing that threw together just under two hours of the most entertaining thing that’s graced the silver screen this year. Go watch it, it deserves all of your money.