Anyone who is reviewing Baby Driver needs to address the car chases. They are, undoubtedly, some of the finest put to film. They’re fast-paced, exciting, and genuinely get the blood pumping. They feel real and intense, and rightly so. Director Edgar Wright ensured that all of the driving effects were practical and in-camera. This is not a CGI extravaganza and Baby Driver is made all the better because it feels so genuine.
Anyone who is reviewing Baby Driver needs to address its cast. Ansel Elgort is the eponymous criminal chauffeur. He’s an incredibly likable character; his geniality made all the more interesting when one takes notice of just how little Baby speaks throughout much of the film. Nowadays, the action film genre is dominated by loud and brassy heroes and Elgort’s Baby is the exact antithesis. In short, a wonderful breath of fresh air. Lily James is just as likable as the love interest, and her on-screen chemistry with Elgort too feel effortless and real. Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, and Eiza González round out the handsome cast, though it is Jamie Foxx who walks away with top honors. His psychotic criminal truly steals the film.
So far I have written of the realism and all around genuine nature which Baby Driver generates, but as this is a film by Edgar Wright, it should be expected that the whole movie is stylized in the extreme. The film's script is exciting and incredibly witty but the style all starts with the soundtrack. Hardly a scene goes by without use of some music and, right from the start, the soundtrack becomes an integral part of the film. Set pieces and action scenes alike are virtually choreographed in time to the music: the action set to “Tequila” is one of the best things I have seen on the screen in a long time.
Wright’s penchant for fast-paced and stylized editing is also on full display, and while the editing is perhaps not as frenzied and in-your-face as some of Wright’s other films like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, or The World’s End, it will not take a sharp-eyed viewer to pick up on the long takes and brilliant scene transitions which are utilized throughout.
Baby Driver may, on the surface, be light-weight summer entertainment, but its stylized nature speaks to a true master behind the camera, cementing Wright’s status as one of the most original and exciting filmmakers of the day. And, it got me thinking. Why, I wondered, do I go to the movies in the first place? Though the experience of being moved by a film is oftentimes the surest sign of a masterpiece, above all, I go to the movies to be entertained. To have fun.
Anyone who is reviewing Baby Driver needs to address its sense of fun. It is nearly impossible to walk away from this one-of-a-kind adventure without a smile on your face.