Going into the theater to see Baby Driver my expectations were quite low. For me, Edgar Wright’s other endeavors have been very hit or miss to say the least. From the highest heights (Shaun of the Dead) to the lowest lows (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), I never know what I’m going to be getting. Walking out of Baby Driver I can easily say that it is Wright’s best work and a contender for best film of 2017.
The trailer for Baby Driver made the film look like a generic Summer popcorn action flick. While it had a lot of the expected touchstones of that genre, it also had enough inventive aspects that it far exceeded what I’ve come to expect from this director.
Baby Driver is the story of Baby (Ansel Elgort) a hearing impaired getaway driver working under notorious criminal, Doc (Kevin Spacey). Throughout the film Baby completes increasingly difficult jobs in order to pay off a debt to Doc. The acting in Baby Driver is a great strength. From the rising star Elgort, to the veteran actors Spacey and Foxx, and everything in between the acting is of the highest caliber and much higher than you would find in any other driving focused film (see the fast and the furious series for comparison). The quality of the acting really helps bring the world of Baby Driver to life and creates a sense of tension and worry for the fate of the characters.
What makes Baby Driver truly stand out in my eyes is the implementation of the soundtrack. Due to his hearing impairment, Baby constantly listens to music on his earbuds to drown out the tinnitus from a plot point that I will exclude due to spoilers. When Baby revs the engine and does one of his overly flashy getaway sequences, the music not only creates a much more exciting atmosphere, but also plays in time with events of the film. This is because we are hearing the music as Baby hears it. This aspect of the film actually plays into the plot at times and it is possibly one of the most unique uses of music in a film to date.
Baby Driver is a film that is hard to find faults in and one that, in my mind, is impossible to hate. It’s not often that a movie comes out of nowhere and completely blows me away with its unique style, charm, and genuine fun. If you have not seen this film, drop what you’re doing and watch it now. It truly is that good.