Release Date: June 28, 2017
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Micah Howard, Lily James, Morgan Brown, Kevin Spacey, Morse Diggs, CJ Jones, Sky Ferreira, Lance Palmer, Hudson Meek, Viviana Chavez, Hal Whiteside, Flea, Lanny Joon, Jamie Foxx, Clay Donahue Fontenot, Brigitte Kali Canales, Patrick R. Walker, Ben VanderMey, D.R. Lewis, Big Boi, Killer Mike, Allison King, R. Marcos Taylor, Paul Williams
Genre: Action, Crime, Music
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 113 minutes
Production Company: Big Talk Productions, Double Negative, Media Right Capital (MRC), Working Title Films, Sony Pictures, Entertainment
Country: UK, USA
It was a sad timeback in April of 2014 when director Edgar Wright decided to part ways with Marvel Studios over creative differences in regard to Ant-Man (2015). With his unique stylistic approach, him overseeing that film was any comic book and film fan’s dream come true. Ant-Man was still able to be a hit for the studio. So it may have worked out for the best that Wright decided to direct Baby Driver instead. On paper, this film has been done in a few different forms a numerous amount of times in the past, yet it’s Edgar Wright’s vision and talent that makes it stand out from anything you’ve ever witnessed on screen before. So much energy and passion is put into his work, and it shows from every little detail that’s combed over. Wright knows how to make an ok actor/actress great, and a great one fantastic. So, with his combination of great acting leads and creative brainpower, Baby Driver is a film you’ll remember for quite some time.
Though why that is, is an important question. Mostly everyone loves and enjoys music, and Wright took advantage of that early in the film. He made the soundtrack an extra in depth character itself that the main lead Baby (Ansel Elgort) couldn’t live without. That’s how important it was. Whether you’re a fan of the certain type of music chosen doesn’t matter. When you see how Baby uses the music to go throughout his day it makes you smile. Baby acts as if every song he ever listened to was tailored to him, as if he can make use of any song to counteract any problem he may face. No matter what mood he’s in or obstacle he has to overcome he has a song for it. This isn’t random. It’s embedded in his character and revealed in short clips in relation to his backstory. So, it’s not like he just chooses the musical vice to cope, he has no choice, and life would be harder without it. By doing this, Baby’s character is the type that doesn’t complain and always uses the cards he is dealt, making the best out of every situation.
The rest of the film is filled with other great actors too, including Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx. Both characters are so different but are able to work together on screen to pull off a job. Spacey is slightly terrifying. You don’t fear him from any type of physical threat, but you know in an instance that you shouldn’t double cross him. Foxx on the other hand appears to be a grenade just waiting to explode. This guy has no remorse for anything, and will do anything to get what job he needs done. While it sounds like I’m praising him, I am for his villainy, what goes around comes around with his character.
This film is also so unconventional. As soon as it appears that the plot is thinning out it blows back up tenfold with no idea towards how it will end. Baby is in a jam and the worst jam possible. He’s surrounded by horrible individuals from random walks of life and wants nothing more but to escape. Then all of a sudden things change and he’s excited to be a part of the team. This just goes to show how the superb writing came through at the right moment to flip things on their head, making the outcome unpredictable.
Let’s not forget about the action and car chases, some being the best that’s been on screen in sometime while still maintaining some form of realism. Baby is able to drive the heck out of that car, and it’s so enjoyable to see as he takes advantage of average street enclosures. The ending of the film got a little stilly with one of the baddies going overboard with their monologuing. When an opportunity presents itself, it should be taken advantage of, but it isn’t to create drama. This time it didn’t work, and it turns the scene from an epic trial between two adversaries into a looney cartoon that makes you scream at the screen.
Overall this film is a ton of fun with so many aspects to enjoy. The characters, the music, and the way they’re drawn together is truly something special that not too many directors could accomplish. Edgar Wright is a true auteur with his talent behind the camera. The way he edits each scene, with the sound mixing, makes the smallest detail pop out on the screen. This man can make someone watering grass or folding paper feel special, and he does that with every frame. Even though it’s not perfect, it’s still a feature that’s worth it, and stands out from every other film around.