If you only had enough dough to see one film through these winter days, Baby Driver would be my major top choice. Directed by Edgar Wright, the man behind such greats like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, comes this Action-Romance-Comedy-Musical-Heist movie, that’ll keep your feet tapping till the end credits roll.
I like to keep brief on the plot, but it revolves around a getaway driver named Baby (played by Ansel Elgort) who works for robbers, with Kevin Spacey as the mastermind. As Baby evades police behind the wheel, the kicker is that he uses music to work. During the film he meets a girl named Debora, which blossoms into a sweet romance, but things begin to go awry as the later heists don’t go to plan.
Reading past that brief description of the story, the plot is straightforward, and is structured like a 70’s action film with a whimsy of 50’s diner romance. What keeps everything fresh is the top-notch screenplay, and the way the actors play off each other with comedic timing and musical cues. Right off the bat, the cinematography and choreography of the blazing action sequences are wondrous. It all blends perfectly with the soundtrack, mixed along with the sound design of revving vehicles, tyres screeching, guns blasting.
It doesn’t mean the soundtrack is all loud, there’s some more sombre tunes which adjusts the tone and makes you feel a bit more relaxed. Speaking of the soundtrack, it’s one of the more unique soundtrack mixes I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. From songs like ‘Baby’ by Carla Thomas to ‘Intermission’ by Blur, the music meshes well with each scene and feeds you a range of genres. What I favoured the most was how Baby Driver managed to balance the weight of drama and comedy. You’ll be laughing one moment, and then be shocked the next. All assisted by the superb main and supporting cast.
If there was something that I felt needed more oomph, it’d be the romance between Baby and Debora. It still works out well enough, especially with a laundromat scene that develops their characters, but I think an extra 5 minutes of connective screen time would have been magnificent. In my head, I can visualize a musical montage of them going to fairs, dates and the whatnot, all with ‘My Girl’ by The Temptations playing in the background. Another nitpick I’d have to make is that the pacing can slow down at points around the end of the second act. But then the engine shifts into gear as the third act unleashes a high-octane finale that is not only fast-paced, but concludes with a rather satisfying ending. Oh, and Simon and Garfunkel.
Baby Driver is truly a must-see. If you love car chases, go see Baby Driver. If you love music, go see Baby Driver. If you love Edgar Wright’s movies, then you’ve already seen it. It’s an entertaining 113 minutes that you’ll not regret. And one things for sure, the soundtrack will stick like glue in your head.