Friday, July 7, 2017

Movie Review: BABY DRIVER

As a director, Edgar Wright has found himself quite a following with his Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  These are all films that I love, some more than others, with Scott Pilgrim being my third favorite film of all time.   But it seems that another one of his films has now made it into my Top 10, and that film is Baby Driver.

This film is absolutely fantastic!  It had me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the film, and even when it didn’t, it still managed to hold my attention in just the right way.  Right from the amazing chase sequence at the very beginning, and the spectacular one-shot of Baby walking through the city, I knew I was going to love this movie.  Wright did things here that I hadn’t seen before.  It blew me away.  But Baby Driver wasn’t just cool music and awesome driving scenes.  No, it’s so much more than that.  It’s a showcase in how to make a spectacular film, how to take action and emotion, music and silence, and marry them together perfectly.

One of my favorite ways that Wright’s filmmaking is highlighted in this film is the sound design.  There are multiple scenes where the noise of the gunfire falls in sync with the music playing on Baby’s iPod, and that was something that really stood out to me.  I had never seen that technique used before, and I was truly impressed with how well it fit in with the action.  It actually had me in awe.

Another thing that impressed me was the wide array of cast members, that, in their various parts, all meshed well together.  In particular, the relationship between Ansel Elgort’s Baby and Lily James’ Debora is one of the most convincing, most electric ones I’ve seen in film.  Their chemistry is so palpable that I would love to see them in another film together.  Perhaps they could reteam in the upcoming Mayday 109, where Elgort plays a young JFK.  James would make a great Jackie O.

We also got great performances from Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, and even Eiza Gonzalez, who was recently in headlines as being rumored for the role of Catwoman in the DCEU Gotham City Sirens film, which teams up Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman.  Spacey was menacing as ever as the mastermind behind all of these crimes, Doc, teetering on Seven territory, but also having a bit a softer side as well.

This film could have easily just been a simple, fast riding, action packed heist film, and it was that, but it was also so much more.  There was heart and meaning in this film, and the emotional backstory for our main character, Baby, was wonderfully unexpected.  It fleshed out this already great character in a way that I didn’t even know I wanted. 
Baby Driver is one of those films that I will rewatch over and over again for years to come.  I will absolutely see it again before it leaves theaters, and I will be picking up the Blu-ray once it hits stores.  I have to say thank you to Mr. Edgar Wright for gracing this world with such a fantastic film.  I have always loved his work, and this has added to that love in such an incredible way.  So go out and see this film if you haven’t already.  And if you have, go out and see it again.

The Merc's Score: 10/10

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