Does Edgar Wright’s BABY DRIVER make a clean getaway?
I was excited for this. Not just a bit excited… but giddy. Why you ask? If you saw my recent post you‘ll know that I‘m just a little fed up of the constant remakes, reboots, sequels to prequels of reboots, you know.. The blah that cinema is chock full of at the moment. I‘ve felt starved of originality so far this year and this film promised to be a little different. Different it most certainly is.
I caught a late night showing of the film some 7 days before it‘s official release and I drove home quicker than I ever should have, (especially with the dodgy tyre that’s hanging off the back of my car), I was in such a rush to throw these words together because the film is just simply THAT BLOODY GOOD!
Edgar Wright hasn’t just created a film, he‘s created a piece of art. This is picture and sound working absolutely perfectly with each other, a master class of editing. Gun shots and window wipers sync perfectly with the beats of the music, the volume of the soundtrack dictated by how the main character ‘Baby‘ is experiencing it at the time. In fact, there’s only a couple of times throughout the whole feature where the music actually stops, (when the headphones are ripped from his ears) timed so brilliantly with the serious moments of the film. It’s a unique and creative effect, the likes I‘ve never seen done before.
Ansel Elgort plays the young get away driver ‘Baby‘ and does a fine job of portraying a cool, if somewhat purposely awkward character. Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm & Lily James all perform brilliantly and there‘s a number of scenes that feature them on screen all together which are genuinely electric. I‘m a big fan of Jon Bernthal, especially since his Punisher role in Marvel‘s DAREDEVIL however I was disappointed to find his role is more of a cameo than anything else. The romance between Baby and Debora (played by Lily James) works well and the chemistry between them shines.
The lack of CGI was a breath of fresh air in a world where every film seems to be rammed with it no matter how effective. Prior to the screening, Edgar Wright had recorded a short message for us and he made it very clear that he shot this film using almost entirely practical effects and it shows. Not one bit of poor CGI to ruin the magic, just balls out, car chasing porn.
As touched on earlier, the soundtrack is immense. A perfect blend of some well known tracks and some less recognizable, all very effective and match the onscreen action beautifully.
A couple of small gripes that pop up and ruin an almost perfect get away can be found in the closing chapters. A particular scene in a carpark features a few too many cuts for my liking and for a time I struggled to see what was actually happening on screen. The pacing also drops off rather quickly in the final scenes. A more sudden climax would have perhaps worked better to what had been a racey/fast paced film up to that point. It dampened my enthusiasm for the film a touch, which is a shame because the motor was running beautifully until then.
Baby Driver doesn’t waste any time in pulling you into its world and the camera work in one of the opening scenes is outstanding: A long shot timed perfectly with the music and crammed with brilliantly timed on screen moments, it was superb. The cinematography is exceptional and the plot is intriguing and unpredictable. The amount of attention to detail found in here is something to behold and it‘s clear Edgar Wright put his absolute all into creating this masterpiece. Finally, the dialogue is some of the wittiest I have heard in a film in a long time, it had the whole cinema laughing out loud numerous times and features some great real world references that are bound to make you smirk.
The best way to describe Baby Driver is that it’s La La Land being overrun by speeding cars and bank robbers. Throw in some Kingsman style humour and, at times, pretty graphic violence and you‘ve got yourself one hell of a good heist movie! Go see this Baby!