In the realm of an Edgar Wright film, anything is possible. Zombies can take over the world, small towns can be secret murderers, video games can come to life and aliens can be weird, blue-blooded mannequins. His films are often witty, stylized and completely deranged. I am most certainly a fan. Baby Driver sees Wright at his most skillful. It’s not only the best film of his career, but one of the best films of the year, and it all revolves around a plot you’re probably telling yourself “huh, that sounds familiar.” Trust me, it’s not. In fact, it’s very far from it, and when you watch the film, you’ll see why.
It’s an action packed musical fiasco as Baby escapes his current life while listening to his own personal mix tape. The character has tinnitus, a medical condition that causes a constant ringing to be heard day in and day out. There’s no escaping the noise. Quietness is a leisure he’s unable to experience, so the superior alternative is to drain it out with music 24/7. We see and hear the world from his point of view. Everything is edited and choreographed in time to the beat, as chosen via one of his many, many iPods. Right from the opening getaway sequence, you’ll be dancing, humming and lip syncing along with Baby as all the action is cut, maneuvered and stylized with the music.
Baby Driver is a movie that’s too good to be true. It’s an experience full of a-list talents, both on and off the screen, who have all come together to create one of the best movie going experiences you can ever have. It’s a sleek and stylish action comedy with more heart than in any of Wright’s earlier works combined. The central hook to Baby’s life isn’t from the car chases, although they are all incredibly impressive, but instead from his relation to Debora and their venture into the world of music. Elgort and James have excellent, natural chemistry. There’s a mutual understanding shared between the two, elevating their performances and tugging in an emotional twist. Later scenes will bring tears to your eyes and warmth to your heart.
This is filmmaking at its finest. From the music cues to the well-placed humour to the characterization to the genuine emotion, everything about the movie works. If grounded reality was what this film was going for, certain plot elements would feel like a bit of a stretch, but given the fantasy thematics weaved into the plot, you roll with everything and learn to accept it. The cast does a fantastic job at selling the world. Everyone is tremendous, from Jamie Foxx to John Hamm to Kevin Spacey to Eiza González and, of course, to our leads. They all hold respect to their designated characters and a fierce determination to deliver the best performance possible. Even John Bernthal, who appears for no more than five minutes, is great.
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