Baby Driver - A Heist Masterpiece - Spoiler Free Review
Edgar Wright has made a masterpiece. A relatively young director with some goofy (albeit great) action comedies, Baby Driver was a bit of an unexpected joy. I cannot express HOW much loved Baby Driver. It will be VERY difficult for another movie this year to knock it off as my favorite film of 2017. Baby Driver hit all the marks as perfectly as can be. I am against applauding movies in the theaters, but I was tempted.
The first thing I have to point out is incredible use of music in Baby Driver. I cannot think of a movie that has better incorporated music into its storytelling and cinematography. Mere months after Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, Baby Driver takes the cake. The way Edgar was able to use the phenomenal soundtrack made the movie flow and feel like a musical. I knew going in that music would play a huge role in the movie, but it was completely original and blew my mind. I am even listening to the Baby Driver soundtrack as I write this article for inspiration. Edgar was able to match the perfect song to the feeling of the scene. I hesitate to discuss the details of the music because I feel it is best to experience it without any prior knowledge and this is a spoiler free review! The soundtrack should have its own IMDB movie credit as an actor.
In addition to the soundtrack, the cast was also phenomenal. Headlined by Ansel Elgort, also known as the actor who should be playing young Han Solo. This is my first experience with him, as his movies to date have not caught my personal interest. He was fantastic and has a wildly bright future ahead of him. The rest of the gang was a who’s who of wonderful actors that could not have fit their roles more perfectly. Kevin Spacey, the suited mastermind of the heists, must have had this role written for him. Lily James, an innocent dreamer and love interest of Baby, captured the essence of Debora to perfection. The rest of the hodge podge of criminal characters with performances by Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez, and Jon Bernthal all were colorful and original characters. The cast fed off each other in a way that few movies are able to capture.
Talking to CinemaBlend, Edgar Wright said the inspiration for Baby Driver was a heist set completely to music. My first thought of that goes straight to Hudson Hawk but he had a few other movies for his inspiration; namely, The Driver (1978), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Point Break (1991), Heat (1995), and Blues Brothers (1980). He clearly has a great understanding of what it takes to make a great heist movie and pull from some of the greatest. See Cinema Blend article here.
The cinematography was spot on and gave the overall feel to the movie that can only be described in one word: Cool. Edgar took those inspirations and put them to use creating some of the best on screen car chase scenes ever created. Some may say there are not enough of these in the film but oversaturation of anything is usually not a good thing. The action not involving cars is also incredibly well done and it goes back to the incredible use of music to make the scenes. It is not just the heists set to music but it is a running theme throughout the movie.
I cannot say enough about Baby Driver. It is a 10/10 for me, and one I will likely return to the theater to see despite some strong releases coming up. If you are a fan of classic heist moves, colorful characters, car chases, and a killer soundtrack you have to check it out.