The Fast And The Footloose
Tell me you weren’t looking forward to Baby Driver. Look me in the eyes and tell me after you watched the first trailer you weren’t excited. You can’t do it. No one can. That’s because everything about Edgar Wright’s latest project oozed cool, but for many films that can be a death sentence, too much expectation can easily mean the gallows, so the real question is does Baby Driver ever reach its Top Gear?
For a long time Edgar Wright has been trapped in a sort of developmental hell of his own creation. Paired early in his career with Simon Pegg in Spaced, then tagging with him for the much loved Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz it seemed that Edgar’s big break was going to come at the hands of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. Unfortunately, the film received a mixed response and never really found its market in the box office. We could see there was something incredible about Edgar, but it was still impossible to work out, when he made The World’s End again with Simon Pegg it felt like a cross between a last great hurrah and a plead for help, and now we come to Baby Driver 3 years after his last feature comes Baby Driver. Trust me when I say it was worth the wait.
Baby Driver is so perfect I don’t believe I’ll be able to do it justice no matter how many words I write out on this page, but Baby Driver’s perfection comes in its subtlety. Unlike most movies that would be going for high octane thrills and unrealistic car chases Baby Driver takes a different route to the finish line. Baby Driver shifts up the tempo and continually raises the stakes without ever compromising its story.
Even Baby Driver’s hook is unique: a gifted getaway driver who has tinnitus and plays music to blur it out. When have you heard that as a pitch ever before? Of course this is a stroke of genius for Edgar Wright as this allows him to play as much music as he likes and it’s always justified. While this could have just been a gimmick for many movies (Guardians Of The Galaxy for more) Edgar uses the sound to his advantage so that anytime another character interacts with Baby and his tunes we hear it, this gives us the feeling that we are in Baby’s head. IF you consider how clever an idea that is you’ll understand the brilliance of Baby Driver.
People will say that the soundtrack surpasses all over elements of the movie however it only goes to make Baby Driver stronger. The choices in the soundtrack are a metaphor for the film itself. I’m sure everyone will recognise the opening bars of Bob & Earl’s Harlem Shuffle, but few will know the beats that follow. This is how the film plays, we all know the story of a bank robber in deep debt, but few will guess the beats that follow the opening.
Baby Driver has a cast of almost interstellar proportions but just like the rest of the film all in a lower key to catch us off guard, if this was any other director they would have put Jon Bernthal in a minor role as opposed to a singular scene. Edgar Wright’s faith pays off, Ansel Elgort looks like he was born to play the headline role as Baby, both Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx are strong as two different kinds of psychopath’s and as always Kevin Spacey is a master of delicate gestures.
Baby Driver is a film noir for a new generation; it explores rich subjects like loyalty and morality while successfully running at 100MPH. Baby Driver is genre defining.