Sunday, August 06, 2017

Baby Driver

Year: 2017
Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, John Bernthal

Plot: A young getaway driver plans to break free from working for a crime boss after meeting the girl of his dreams, but his boss has other plans.

Review: Call me crazy, but I don't really enjoy a film when it has too much fun with itself. There are a few notable exceptions, like say Shoot 'Em Up or Con Air, being so silly that there's only one way to enjoy them. Baby Driver isn't quite like that, though it tries hard.

Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a young man constantly attached to his iPod who works for Doc (Kevin Spacey), a crime boss with a knack for planning heists. Baby is a tremendously gifted driver, thus his skills are really useful to Doc. He falls in love with Debora (Lily James), a cute waitress, and plans to run away with her once he squares his debt to Doc. But the old man will not let him just walk away, and hires him for a heist alongside three very volatile criminals; Buddy, Darling and Bats.

Edgar Wright, who wrote and directed this film, set out to do only one thing: create a fun filled action comedy driven by his favorite songs, and to a certain extent, he succeeds. The car chases are good (the opening chase is the standout, the others don't come close), the dialogue is funny (Jamie Foxx's lines are the best) and the acting for the most part, are spot on.

Elgort is reasonably charming as Baby, and makes a great pair with James as Debora. Spacey is just oozing cool and mean at the same time as Doc, while Foxx is just batshit crazy as Bats, with Jon Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez being both magnetic and deadly as Buddy and Darling respectively. Foxx in particular is hilarious, even when he means business.

Now, here's my problem. I do not dig Wright's move to dictate pretty much everything in this film by song and song beats. I get it, Guardians Of The Galaxy was cool for the most part because of great music choices, but let's not get carried away. Wright doesn't just put in killer tracks in the background of nearly every scene, he also sets what happens on screen to the beat of the music, from Elgort's dancing and strutting (which I found quite annoying) to gunshots and action beats etc. It's overkill for me. It's like Wright is trying so very hard to make this film look and sound cool, when he really doesn't have to. I also felt that the editing could be a bit tighter and the third act was a tad messy for my liking.

With all that being said, Baby Driver is reasonably entertaining thanks to a fine cast and great dialogue, but after reading all the hype from reviewers everywhere, I have to say this film is quite overrated. It's fun, but much easier to run with if it was simpler. (7/10)

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