Baby Driver is the new action movie that is written and directed by up-and-coming director Edgar Wright. Haven’t heard of it? I am not surprised. When I saw it pop us as 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/baby_driver) I immediately wondered why I have never heard or seen any marketing for this film. No matter, it was definitely action packed and I’m excited to get into the review! If you are planning on watching this movie in theaters and don’t want it to be spoiled for you in any way, you may not want to read any further. There are spoilers ahead.
Really my biggest and only real problem with this movie is the extremely poor attention to detail in regards to the storyline. There are quite a few things that really don’t get explained at all and most of them involve somebody getting shot. For example, there is a gunfight scene in the movie in which Darling gets shot in the shoulder. At the time it seems like it might be a big deal, but it is pretty much ignored and is never brought up again. It was as if it never happened. In another scene, Buddy is stuck in a corner with about 15 cops surrounding him and closing in as Baby fleas the scene. Then later, Buddy finds Baby and you never receive and explanation as to how the heck he managed to escape the police shootout. During the exciting final act, Baby shoots Buddy in what looks to be the heart or at least close to it. Buddy goes down and it looks like it could’ve been a fatal shot, but soon after he is back chasing Baby and he doesn’t seem to be laboring that badly. You don’t even need to know anything about these characters to know that these are things that need to be explained for a lot of movie goers. Sure, some people just go with the flow and don’t question things, but I prefer my movies to make sense when you step back and look at the whole thing.
The other thing that goes along with that poor attention to detail is the small editing miscues. I have two examples I noticed in this department. There is a scene in the final sequence where Baby drives a truck into the side of Buddy’s car and pushes his car into another car. They then show a few shots from inside of Buddy’s car. You should see the truck Baby was driving out one window, and the car Buddy was pushed into out of the other window. However, when the camera looks out the other window you don’t see the car, it’s just empty space. Then the cameras cuts to a shot from outside Buddy’s car, and the other car is there. The other example is just a couple moments later during the final fight scene. Baby shoots Buddy in the knee and when he does, it is clear that Buddy is standing 5 or 6 feet away from a ledge. Then it seems like Buddy takes one step back in pain and falls off the ledge. I usually don’t notice little sloppy mistakes like these my first time watching a movie, and it really puts a damper on my viewing experience.
Now that I’m done venting little things and spewing spoilers, lets get to the good stuff!
Baby Driver is without a doubt the most unique movie I have seen all year. It is really more like a musical that wanted to try to disguise itself as an action movie. I say that because the soundtrack is SOOO prominent and important throughout, and there is probably music playing at the forefront during about 40-50% of the entire runtime. That may not seem like a lot, but think about it. That’s like an hour of the movie where there is very little talking, just watching and listening to the soundtrack. I definitely fell in love with the originality of the film’s concept. It’s the type of movie that makes you feel a hundred different ways about the main character and what he is going through. It is also very difficult to explain what makes the concept of this film so unique. You just have to watch it for yourself I guess. Also, the soundtrack is pretty awesome just so you know.
Ansel Elgort is so much fun to watch as he really comes into his own for this role. It was amazing to see how well he told a story about his character without having that many lines. I don’t know if I’d go so far to say it was a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination, but it’s definitely worth some consideration for that honor. Lily James was also great in this movie. She made it very easy for us to fall in love with the relationship between Baby and Deborah. The other main actors, such as Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey, are also very good in this film. However, you most likely won’t remember their performances after a couple hours because they just weren’t that spectacular. Pretty much all of the acting in this movie was solid, but Ansel Elgort’s performance is one I will probably remember for a while as one of the best of the year so far.
Baby Driver isn’t particularly funny but it does have some very witty moments. I definitely laughed a few times, which is more than I can say about a lot of so-called comedies these days. However, please do not come to this movie thinking it is a comedy. It is an action movie with a pinch of thriller and a dash of romance.
I loved the originality and unique style of this film. I also enjoyed how it resolved itself in the end. I really want to rating this higher than I am but there were just too many sloppy mistakes for me to rate it up with my top movies of 2017. Make no mistake, if you are an action movie buff, this movie is definitely worth your time. At the moment, I would call Baby Driver my surprise movie of the year.