Every once in a while, you’ll go to the theater and see a film that you’ve been anticipating and few things could happen, either it won’t live up to the expectations, you get exactly what you wanted or you’re expectations are exceeded. However, you’ll get to see a movie that no matter how high your expectations are, they’re never truly high enough and you’re absolutely blown away. Edgar Wright’s newest film is Baby Driver is exactly that kind of film. Not since La La Land have I walked out of a theater so satisfied and so giddy walking out of the theater. This is the kind of film that reassures my love for the art. It’s the kind of film that proves the theater experience is the best and only way to truly see a film. It was the definition of what a summer film should be, except it was more than that. It was the definition of what a film should be.
Baby Driver tells the story of a young and extremely talented getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) that relies on music in order to get done the driving jobs he is tasked with performing due to a bad form of Tinnitus from a childhood car accident. He is tasked with these jobs by the mysterious Doc (Kevin Spacey, a man who he owes a debt to and continues to work heists until he pays off his debt completely. When he meets the beautiful diner waitress, Debora (Lily James) and falls quickly for her, he hopes to get out of this crime filled business and just spend his life with her. The thing about crime however is once you’re in, it’s hard to get out.
I love Edgar Wright, he’s one of my favorite directors. His films are all so original, unique and extremely Edgar Wright. He loves to take genre conventions and tropes and mix and mesh and bend them all together, creating an extremely unique and exciting film. This is no different. Wright directs this movie spectacularly. There are so many single takes and tracking shots in this film, it is a aspiring filmmaker’s heaven. I smiled and got goosebumps during so many scenes. The entire first act is just pure brilliance, also the second act is pure brilliance and well the third act, Edgar Wright always has amazing final acts so you bet this film does too. Something the film does extremely well is tonally shift about halfway through the film and feels earned doing so. The final half of the film is extremely intense and very unpredictable. The first half is a lot more comedic but still always has this serious edge to it that almost feels like Tarantino. Just truly spectacular.
Ansel Elgort as Baby is absolutely killer in this movie. He is likable, funny and sweet and you always understand where his motivation is. He’s not a bad guy, he’s a good natured kid in a tough situation. That situation involves Doc and Kevin Spacey is just so likable and cool in this movie. I didn’t know how much of a role he’d have in this film and I was happy to learn he is pretty prominent as he’s amazing as per usual. Honestly to say every name in the cast would just be unnecessary. Lily James is so likable and sweet as Debora, Jon Hamm as Buddy would both charismatic and terrifying with the shift of a gear (Erich’s puns are back) and Jamie Foxx absolutely kills it as Bats, having some of the funniest one liners. Everyone was perfectly cast and does their job and then some.
This movie houses some of the most spectacular car chases I’ve seen. The action is absolutely stunning and the biggest thing that makes the action so fun and unique is the soundtrack. My lord, the soundtrack was perfect. As I said, Edgar Wright always blends genres and here he takes the action movie and hybrids it as a musical which was so perfect. Every setpiece feels like a musical sequence as a song thats lyrics usually mirror the on screen action blare over the screen. The sound design alone is worth the price of admission. Technically speaking, this movie is flawless and there’s a few film related easter eggs I was extremely happy that Wright took the time to stick in the film.
Baby Driver is my favorite film of the year. Usually I wait a little while and think about a film a little more before I start declaring it my favorite of the year or even before I start writing my review. During my showing, I just got this feeling I truly haven’t felt since La La Land. I have been trying for two hours straight since getting out of the theater to pull any flaw out of the film and I can’t. The action, the unpredictable plot, the cinematography, the soundtrack and the cast, the film just blends so well into a fantastic experience that I just want to revisit right now. Edgar Wright is now five for five with his filmography and I can’t wait to see his next film. This is my officially my favorite film by him and honestly I’d go so far as to say it’s one of my favorite films of the past five years. I absolutely loved this movie. It’s a special kind of film you only get once or twice a year, sometimes not at all in a year. It’s so good that it’s the first film of 2017 that I’ll be giving an…