Rhythmic, High-Octane thrills.
When it was announced that Edgar Wright, the mastermind behind the “Three Flavours Cornetto” Trilogy, was releasing a “car heist” film, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic.
Through his style and flair, Edgar Wright has built a reputation as one of the most talented and noticeable directors working today (and my personal favorite).
While I love him for his British films, I had high expectations when I found out he was crossing the Atlantic to make a movie in America.
And he didn’t disappoint.
The film follows Baby (Ansel Elgort), a young, talented getaway driver in Atlanta who has found himself in a situation he can’t get out of. Baby was involved in an accident as a child, and the only way he can function properly is by listening to music. In the first 2 minutes, we can already tell what kind of film this is going to be. The film opens with a car chase through the streets and highways in Atlanta – a scene that exceeds the intensity of the climactic scenes in many modern action films.
Wright pulls out every weapon, just in that first scene. It’s a hell of a way to start a film, letting us know to buckle in.
The brisk pacing launches Baby deeper into the world of organized crime, the one he desperately wants to leave. All the while, he falls for a girl-next-door waitress (Lily James). It’s a classic story, but one that’s infectious to watch time and time again.
The music is the best part.
The most enveloping part of the film is the music – and not just the song choices. This film is set to music, meaning every cut, stunt, punch, gunshot, and random sound effect is in line with the music. Even the actors time their movements to the tunes.
Laundry machines, tires, steering wheels, and the camera all swirl in every scene to remind us of a spinning record and Baby’s love of music. Baby has a song for every mood, every heist, and every moment, and we are always hearing what he’s hearing. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and if you’re like me, you’ll be tapping your foot the whole time.
The film would probably lag in the second act if it weren’t for the music and the infectious energy between Elgort and James. They need not say anything – their connectedness is clear.
The film pops right off the screen.
If you know anything about Edgar Wright, it’s probably his distinct visual style. His color palettes always pop off the screen, and Baby Driver is no different. Take a look at the attention to detail in the laundry machines in the GIF above – beautiful, symmetric color schemes populate every scene, whether it be a cherry red getaway vehicle, Baby’s distinct Ipod/earbuds, the criminals’ clothing, or the vibrant city of Atlanta.
His creative cutting and lively camerawork is as present as ever, adding to a film that is distinctly his.
Trust me – when the credits roll, you’ll want to stay in your seat and go for another spin.