Baby Driver (2017)
Signed up the 06/06/2017Baby Driver, a film by Edgar Wright
Baby Driver is quite a unique project. The brainchild of director Edgar Wright, one can tell a lot of passion was put into the creation of the film, and that this was probably a movie Wright had been meaning to make for some time. It is no wonder that a director with such a fierce loyalty to his creative vision would end up at odds with the well-oiled machine that is Marvel Studios.
The first thing that jumps at you when watching Baby Driver is the use of music and sound from scene to scene. Nearly every scene is backed up by a soundtrack of some kind, and a special feature is the syncing of on-screen sounds to the tempo map of the music. The attention to detail in this respect is simply mind-boggling, reminiscent of productions like the film Birdman or the series Utopia. The music itself draws mostly from the '60s-80s and whether it is used to inject energy into the scene or to punctuate emotions, the soundtrack is chock full of enjoyable songs.
The story isn’t anything spectacular but is executed well and there are some interesting characters to make up for the story. To give you a synopsis, Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a talented getaway driver who works to pay off his debt to Doc (Kevin Spacey) and to support his deaf foster dad, Joseph (CJ Jones). He then finds love in the form of Debora (Lily James) but his occupation creates a complicated situation that he has to rectify. Baby is a character who is very easy to like. He doesn’t talk much, preferring to listen to music on any one of his many iPods (he does this to help deal with a hearing condition he has, and just because he’s a music fan) and when he does talk, his dialogue is generally witty and entertaining. Add the fact that his driving skills make the members of the Fast & Furious family look pedestrian and you have a winner. Kevin Spacey plays a classic Spacey villain and while he doesn’t really show us anything new, his character serves as a decent foil for Baby. Jamie Foxx and Jon Bernthal’s characters are also some of the more enjoyable.
Characterisations and acting are all well and good but what impresses me about Baby Driver is the editing and the cinematograpy. Wright and his DoP Bill Pope make good use of tracking shots to transition between scenes or just to advance time in the story and the sound editing is amazing. The gunfight scene at the weapons deal is one of the many stand outs as gunshots fly in perfect time with the sizzling rock soundtrack. This combined with amazing driving scenes, dope shooting and a story driven by a great cast makes Baby Driver a must watch movie, whether you are just a casual moviegoer looking for a slick summer movie to spend 2 hours with, or a film connoisseur who appreciates the details.
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