Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver (2017)

I fancy myself an armchair movie critic, so I will be reviewing films of all shapes, sizes, and genres with my sui generis perspective.

I had a free movie screening pass to see Baby Driver but I wasn’t feeling well, and skipped the screening. I love anything Edgar Wright does, and the reviews have been so positive for it, but I could never get my schedule sorted. I decided to wait until it hit Netflix or Amazon, and then Cinemark said it was coming back to theaters. I knew this was my chance. It had been ages since I saw a movie at the Orleans and it was really nice, actually. Assigned recliner seats? Yes please. My only concern was there’s barely 4G so I could hardly use my Cinemark app without wanting to beat something. I wanted my discounts on my popcorn and Icee; I earned ’em! Also, just walking through the casino made me nostalgic for my past lives. I kinda miss working in a casino, with the bug-eyed people trying to hunt down the noisy machine with blinding lights that’ll pay out, the smell of secondhand smoke and the deodorant that tries to hide it… there’s no place else you can get that.

Anyways, onto the movie.

All you need is one killer track.

Baby Driver was a beautiful film. I felt emotionally satisfied leaving the theater.

If you haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Hot Fuzz, or Shaun of the Dead, you’ll enjoy this movie for what it is. But there’s hallmarks of Wright’s filmmaking that stand out, and fans of his will notice right away. The opening scene of Baby getting the coffees was beat for beat the same as Shaun‘s opening. The pop culture-centric soundtrack. And although it shares the same pace and visual techniques that Wright is known for, it had this crisp Atlanta sheen to it. It was refreshing how Wright’s movies embrace their environment.

I’ve always enjoyed how Wright will slow down a scene as needed. It’s all very high energy and cylinders are firing all over the place, especially in the scenes where they’re discussing the next heist. But then, it slows down when it needs to without losing the pace. This is particularly true with the development of Baby and Debora’s relationship from their meet-cute to whatever ending you think they deserve. I like how ambiguous that ending was.

That said, I thought the relationship between Baby and Debora felt… rushed? Which works for the movie, because she became one of the reasons why he wanted to go straight. But, I don’t know. It felt odd to me. She pours her heart out to Baby when we first meet her. Maybe they established that he comes in a lot. May have missed that. If so, wouldn’t she know of him, even in passing if she’d been working there a long time?

I guess I’m used to deep-seated relationships in Wright’s movies. Definitely a hallmark. Somehow, everybody knows everybody before we meet them in the film (Scott/Envy). They’re all connected, whether they’ve dated (Ramona and her exes), or they’ve known each other since university (Shaun/Ed/Pete). There’s no double lives being led. One crisp line of dialogue and you know how far back their relationship goes, and how much it sucks, and you’re sold on whatever Wright’s selling you as the scene plays out.

And that’s literally the only criticism I have. Every performance was on point: Kevin Spacey as Doc, Jon Hamm as Buddy, Eiza González as Darling, and Jamie Foxx as Bats. Even Jon Bernthal’s cameo as Griff was great. Brogan Hall as Samm was a welcome respite from the tension in the movie.

If this movie isn’t nominated for Best Sound Editing, there’s no justice in the world. Everything is set to music, even the firing of the guns. I don’t think anyone has ever done that before. Just when you think you can’t innovate the way movies are made, someone like Wright comes around and is like, “yo, I gotchu fam.”

This is a great addition to the canon of heist films. It’s fun, it’s got heart, it’s action packed. It’s a great summer movie.

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