By Conor Sullivan (Wishaw, Scotland)
Baby Driver is written and directed by Edgar Wright who has brought us the hilarious cornetto trilogy and other hits like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and if you’re a fan of the mix of comedy and action in these films then I’ll guarantee you’ll love Baby Driver.
It stars Ansel Elgort as ‘Baby’ a getaway driver who works for Doc (Kevin Spacey) as he’s trying to pay off a debt that is unspecified in the film. He doesn’t enjoy the work however and it’s when he meets Deborah (Lily James) that he decides he’s had enough and wants out which turns out to be more difficult than it seems. Perhaps the most entertaining thing about the film is that Baby has tinnitus due to a car accident meaning he listens to music all the time to drown out the ringing which happens to be the soundtrack to the film.
As I just mentioned this film will most likely be remembered for the music used in it and more importantly how it was used, whilst the music accompanies the film you’ll notice that it syncs up with the film, this can be shown very obviously from Baby singing along with the music or very subtly as he places cups of coffee to the beat of the song. Sure this film would’ve been good without any music and some may say it doesn’t add to the film and it’s just for the style, I disagree, the style IS part of the film, it separates it from other car chase film whilst also adding to Baby’s character arc, which you’ll find out about through quick flashbacks. And quickly about the flashbacks, I’m usually not a big fan of long flashbacks, so I was happy to see that this film had taken a different route, it shows small glimpses of Baby’s childhood and instead of being laid out before us we almost need to piece it together which is far more interesting.
When it comes to car chase films or just car chase scenes, we’ve seen it all, we know all the stunts so when we go to see one of these films we want to see clever direction and cinematography that shows us these stunts in different ways that we weren’t expecting, well this film delivers. It’s a wonderful mix, of Edgar Wrights iconic quick cut action but he also gives time to let us watch these set pieces play out with long tracking shocks but never cutting away from the action. And unlike most other car chase film which tends to use intercuts a little too eagerly, I think Wright wasn’t afraid to show off the stunts because they were all real in this film which is always a nice thing. But it’s not just the car sequences, it’s the full film, the cinematography is really nice to watch, even if it’s just Baby walking down the street to pick up coffee, the camera work is flawless throughout. And I think is partly to do with the colour palette of the film, this is a really colourful film and appealing to the eye which if it didn’t have could’ve given of the wrong tones and this film is so pleasant because of its cheerful yet intense tones.
Ansel Elgort done a great job as Baby as he’s actually a fairly complex character, he’s hiding all this emotion whilst trying to seem tough to all these gangsters but it’s not just him that done a good job, everyone did really. Edgar Wright was obviously wanting a comedic yet serious tone throughout the film which the actors helped bring to life, especially Jamie Foxx as the hilarious yet scary Bats and if you’re familiar with Foxx do I need to explain why he was perfect for this role. But on a whole I didn’t have a problem with any of the performances in this film, in fact, they were all excellent. Something that I keep hearing is that people didn’t like how it slowed down in the second act, but I don’t have an issue with this, In a film with such explosive third and first acts you need a bit of a calm period for developing character like the relationship between Baby and Deborah which is integral to the plot but it’s not as if the second act is dull it still has a very entertaining car chase and the music is ever present so I have no problem with the second act. My last ‘pro’ about this film I’m a bit torn on and it’s the relationship, the thing I did really love about it was how it created this tension throughout the whole film as Baby tries to balance his life with Deborah and his life of crime and trying not to collide the two and there were certain scenes in this film where I was truly on edge.
And that brings me to one of the only thing’s I didn’t like about the film which some people will totally disagree with. There was some points in the film where I felt Deborah and Baby were making decisions as if they had known each other their whole life when in reality we had only seen a couple scenes with them together and I feel like if they had either had a few more scenes to build the relationship or had Deborah seem more scared at the situation she was in it would’ve worked far better, however, if you like to see this as a love at first sight situation you will probably look right past this. One other small thing that did but didn’t work for me was the subplot with Joe (CJ Jones) an old man that Baby was looking after, I get that they could relate because they both had hearing problems but I didn’t know what it was trying to achieve, however, it was still entertaining and sometimes you need a character just to be entertaining.
In conclusion, Edgar Wright has brought us another entertaining action and packed and at times hilarious film. His use of music, cinematography, direction and pretty much everything will make this film stand out for years to come.
Rating: 5/5BEST QUOTES