BABY DRIVER

Director- Edgar Wright

Last Looks

It seems as though being an actual original film doesn’t seem to count for anything in the summer blockbuster age. Currently trilogies and reboots are dominating the box office and I kind of feel that Baby Driver is not getting the recognition it deserves. Director Edgar Wright who is more known for his satirical comedies such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, I think will be interesting to see what he will do with a crime film. The cast is definitely star-studded as well with multiple award-winning best actors such as Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and John Hamm. I have been hearing a lot of positive remarks about Baby Driver so I had to take it for a spin.

Breakdown

“Baby” (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for the most upscale heist and works under the criminal mastermind Doc (Kevin Spacey) along with the crew Bats (Jamie Foxx) Buddy (John Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzales). As a child Baby was involved in a fatal car accident that claimed the life of his parents and left him with Tinnitus which is a ringing that often occurs in his ears. Baby now lives with his foster-father and does not speak much rather just listens to his iPod which consistently changes depending on his mood. and records different things such as conversations which he remixes and listens to them back. After finally completing his last job Baby is set free, meets the girl of his dreams and tries to settle into a normal life until Doc approaches Baby about one last score he must do for him. If Baby refuses Doc and the rest of the crew are prepared to do him and all of his loved ones harm.

Nose Candy

“He is a good kid but a devil behind the wheel”

“If you don’t see me again im probably dead”

“Have we met before. Are you still alive. Then we aint never met before”

“Dont feed me any more lines from Monsters Ink it pisses me off”

“The good news is you like driving and your going to have to have the foot on the gas for the rest of your life”

“Cant wait for the days that it just us music and the road”

Style Points

  • Incredible use of sound such as sirens, gun shots, horns, car noises, screeches braking etc that tell a story.
  • One take of Baby walking the streets after a heist
  • Camerawork of payout from final deal
  • First date revolve cam.
  • Shot of Batts getting killed in getaway
  • Future shot of Debbie and Baby in black and white
  • Some of the most classic songs ever recorded compiled into one film

Role Play

Ansel Egort is definitely starting to build up his repertoire as far as films go that need a talented twenty something year old. He also plays up his heart-throb image as the bad boy girls love and even though he didn’t speak much he carried his role well with great charisma. I loved Lily James here too as she was adorable small town Debbie that was the rare hot girl with the sweet personality. We have seen Jamie Foxx in this paranoid comedic criminal role before and it is fun whenever he taps into this realm. John Hamm is simply a bad ass and reaffirms that in this never say die performance. I’m pretty sure the casting list for the Buddy role had John Hamm and John Hamm only and luckily he was able to do this film. Kevin Spacey is great here as he always plays well as the man in the middle or the one who orchestrates so to speak. He was very witty and humorous but was scary and a menace when need be. Everything you would expect from a huge named cast.

Money Shot

After Buddy’s girlfriend Darling dies in the final heist Buddy blames Baby and begins to hunt him. They square off in a parking lot that continues with the theme of great car sound effects. There is a cool shot where Baby and Buddy look each other dead in the eye though wholes in the glass right before they confront each other. A strange bumper car moment ensues where Baby is able to push Buddy’s car off a high story of the garage. Buddy is ultimately killed dramatically with his car going up in flames

Final Touch

For me Baby Driver checked all the boxes as far as being a great film. It is fresh and innovative and action packed. There are great performances by big name actors.  There was humor mixed with crime but not quite at the Quentin Tarantino level. Mixed in was a little Fast and the Furious how the hell do you do that with a car and still survive to tell about it. By the way how does someone ever learn to drive a car that good anyway? The story is absolutely nothing new but the way that it is told is what separates it from its predecessors and for that alone is deserving of a look. There is an incredible level of detail and attention to sound which I feel is often one of the forgotten arts in cinema. Whether it was screeches or horns, peel offs, sirens, gun shots or braking it was all done very masterfully. There was a distinct cadence at which all these noises came together to tell a story. You could honestly watch some of the chase scenes with your eyes closed. Not to mention sounds from the best songs ever recorded in history. If you could make a film about your life and have any song incorporated within a scene, that is exactly what Baby Driver delivers on, a stylish soundtrack being displayed on a silver screen.

-Caleb Harris

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