Friday, November 17, 2017

Movie Review: Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver (2017) written and directed by Edgar Wright

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver who's in debt to a crime boss (Kevin Spacey) and is about to pay off that debt with one last job. He's the best driver in Atlanta and has always come through for the boss. But he also looks forward to being out of the obligation, especially since he's met a cute waitress (Lily James) with whom he hopes to make the ultimate getaway.

With all these cliches, Baby does have one thing going for him--he has tinnitus, a constant ringing in his ear from a childhood accident. To get rid of the noise, he constantly listens to music on iPods, often using the music as inspiration or motivation in his driving...or walking....or whatever he's doing in life. In the hands of director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim), this idea becomes the central conceit and artistic muse of the movie. Every car chase (and there are plenty) is set to music, along with foot chases, dramatic scenes, and comic moments. The film is not just edited to the music. Often long tracking shots also sync up with the beats and the lyrics of the songs. Visually, the movie is amazing.

The story is a bit formulaic but the cast makes the most of it. Even when they are cliched, the characters are still interesting and do have occasional moments to step up and be more human and more individual. There's nothing really deep in the movie, but it is very entertaining and well put together.


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