So yesterday I went to my first Edgar Wright film. I’d always heard great praise for his films but the hard R content turned me off. With Baby Driver I heard from multiple sources it was a pretty mild R and that it was great so I decided to give it a shot and I’m glad I did. While it does require some suspension of disbelief to enjoy, Baby Driver is a very entertaining, kinetic film.
Baby Driver is about a boy named Baby (Ansel Elgort) that is an amazing get-away driver for a crime boss played by Kevin Spacey. Baby is indebted to the boss so he does what he is told. However, because of tendonitis in his ears he requires constant music to be played to drown out the pinging.
The key to making this film work is the visceral engaging action sequences that are so well edited with the music. It draws you in and is entertaining to watch. I hate the phrase turn off your brain but this is a movie that might be easy to over-think, so you ruin the experience. This is not a gritty realistic crime story. If you try to break down the heist and plot elements there are problems but it doesn’t matter because you are quickly on to the next engaging sequence. The only way I can think to describe it is a Fast and the Furious movie but with way more skill than even the best of those films. Those are more guilty pleasure films where this more naturally works at being what it is trying to be.
It’s a very bro-tastic movie with the two women being a sexy assassin or an innocent waitress. Both require saving and are more tools to demonstrate the male character’s story arc then anything on their own. For example, Debora played by Lilly James, exists not to tell her own story, but to provide conflict and tension for Baby. This isn’t a big problem but I do think they could have added a few moments to flesh out her character more- especially to justify some of the decisions she makes.
But that is a small criticism. Like I said, I found it very entertaining and engaging. The acting across the boards is good even if a few parts are underwritten. Nothing ever detracts from having a great time at the theater.
The sound design and editing is near flawless, which helps you get engaged in the heists and chase sequences. The soundtrack is really great because it’s not obvious. One of my complaints about the recent Guardians vol 2 soundtrack is the songs were so on the nose with what was happening. Here it is a little more creative and leaves you often wondering why Baby chose that song for that moment.
Baby Driver is an R rated film and does have some strong violence and profanity but I didn’t think it was too bad or offensive.
So what did you think of Baby Driver? Did you find it entertaining? If you can stomach the R rating then I would encourage you to see it on the big screen as it is such a fun time at the movies. Enjoy!
Overall Grade- B