Movie Review: Baby Driver

As always, I will have a spoiler-free review for the top half of the article, and a spoilerific review will follow below, so don’t scroll too fast!

­čÖé ┬áSPOILER-FREE SECTION ­čÖé

I’ve been a long-time fan of Edgar Wright, and first caught wind of his latest film, Baby Driver, through his Instagram about a year ago. Almost immediately, I started to build the hype. Would this be another flick with Simon Pegg & Nick Frost? Would it be another sci-fi romp like Attack the Block? Or would it be some weird infant-in-a-car follow up to Boss Baby? I wasn’t sure. Through press-releases though, I learned that Baby Driver was a passion project that Wright had first envisioned nearly twenty years ago with the simply idea of shooting cool car chase scenes set to a unique soundtrack.

Baby Driver could be classified as an action-musical. The soundtrack is as uniquely tied into the story as any of the characters.And it is not just cool songs slapped on top of action scenes as we have seen Guardians of the Galaxy succeed with and Suicide Squad try to copy. The film is one of the most unique action movies to have come out recently, and is definitely the best non-superhero movie of the year so far. From the first few minutes, all the way to the end, the plot is filled with sharp turns, twists, and moments that catch you off guard and keep you enthralled. Each of the actors in the movie also portray a character that they are not usually cast as, save for Kevin Spacey, who just plays Kevin Spacey.

Baby is a unique protagonist with an intense singular focus while on a mission, but scenes of his homelife show that he is a compassionate and free souled individual who was at the wrong place at the wrong time and fell into this crime ring because of one bad day. Throughout the movie, we learn more about how he became involved as a crime heist driver, and how he plans to escape the world that just keeps pulling him back down.

Initially, I was worried that the trailers for the movie may have spoiled too much of the plot for me, as trailers tend to do these days. However, the red subaru scenes, the Michael Myers mask mix-up, and the bank robbery are all within the first 30 minutes of the film, and the rest was brand new footage that hadn’t been pre-released or leaked online.

I highly recommend seeing this movie at some point. For Edgar Wright, action, and car chase fans, this is a must-see for the theater. Don’t bother with 3-D though. For everyone else, make sure you pick this flick up at a Redbox once available. I’ll definitely being buying the Blu-Ray for Baby Driver. I feel it will have good re-watch potential.

!!! SPOILER SECTION – SPOILER SECTION – SPOILER SECTION !!!

This is the spoiler section of the review! Still with us? Good!

Holy moley, what an intense ride. I have not been in a movie for some time that had me wincing in my seat with anxiety, gasping at plot twists, and genuinely scared that the protagonist would not make it to the end.

In an early review from one of my friends, he said that the film did not live up to the hype we had built and fell flat towards the end due to low stakes. I find that to be completely untrue! I love how we hate Bats from the beginning, and have those feelings justified by the end when Baby final-destination’s his bad self with the construction rod through the windshield. That was a real “oh shit” moment that had the entire theater gasping! And I also appreciated the transition of John Hamm’s character, Buddy, from loveable criminal to villain. I feel that the misunderstanding of Baby’s recorder is a reasonable catalyst to Buddy’s downfall. I mean, if a weird kid in my criminal ring was suddenly caught recording conversations and trying to escape on the night of a big heist, I too would resent him. It’s this early resentment that leads to his full conversion to antagonist at the death of Monica to be all the more believable as well. He lost everything because of a chain of events, not directly caused by, but started by Baby. His defeat is also a necessary end in order for Baby to truly escape this crime realm. All of the other heist members die due to betrayal or the job, and Buddy is the last tie to the crime organization. It is with his death that Baby is truly free from that world. However, he is not free from the law.

After the death of so many innocents in the film, I had mixed feelings about Baby and Debora’s capture. One one hand, I kind of wanted them to drive off into the sunset to be happy, but on the other, I’m glad that the police were able to put the public at peace by capturing the fugitive Baby. The court room scene provided closure that Baby really was a good-hearted character and that he positively affected the lives of so many, but justice still came down as he served his time until parole. Out of all the crazy car stunts, gunfights, and stretched plot schemes, the only unrealistic part of the movie to me is that Debora waited five years for Baby’s release without losing interest. I mean, they only met like maybe a month before he got locked up. Their relationship is almost entirely based upon quasi-conjugal visits and letter writing. Again though, that is just a nit-pick for the ending of a very good action film.

 

For a better look into the style of Edgar Wright, check out this video from Every Frame A Painting.

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