Sunday, 25 June 2017

'Baby Driver' Review

Edgar Wright's departure from Marvel Studios 'Ant-Man' raised a few eyebrows as "creative differences" was cited as the reason for the split. Wright claimed on Variety podcast 'Playback' that he "wanted to make a Marvel movie but I don't think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie". Wright also felt that he didn't feel as emotionally invested in the project due to being more of a "director for hire". Wright did cite doing 'Ant-Man' to allow him to make a film in the future which he had already written. Once Wright ended his partnership, he was then able to focus entirely on his passion project and would be allowed to handle it just however he wanted. That movie was 'Baby Driver', and Wright can add it to his already impressive list of successful movies.

Baby (Ansel Ergot) is an extremely talented getaway driver who is constantly listening to music due to an accident he suffered as a child. After paying off a debt to a gang and meeting the girl of his dreams Deborah (Lily James), Baby sees a way out of his currently shady lifestyle and start a new life. Just as Baby plans to leave this lifestyle, he is dragged in once again for another job. It's now or never for Baby as the heist threatens his chances of escaping with his true love.

This summer looks as if it is going to be filled each week with big budget, high action blockbusters. Superhero films and franchises seem to be dominating cinema's, with a new picture fitting that criteria seeming to come out every week. There is such a demand to create a world within the movie as studios look to make the most off of an idea. 'Baby Driver' does not look to do that and due to this, helps this movie really stand out from the rest.

With an Edgar Wright film, you go in with several expectations, one of these being the great use of humour. In most of his other pictures, the comedy has been the main feature and has been combined with other genre elements (Shaun of the Dead - Horror, The World's End - Sci-Fi). The humour is still very much apparent, with every character having quippy lines and quick witted remarks.

However, 'Baby Driver' is a much tenser state of affairs, with it taking more of an action/crime thriller feeling. Due to this, 'Baby Driver' does feel like a different film to anything Wright has done before whilst maintaining those key qualities that makes his filmography so great. The dialogue handles more of the humour rather than some visual gags in previous ventures. Instead, as it is much more of an action movie, we are treated to many fantastic practical car effects on the streets of Atlanta. No CGI was needed as real stunt drivers create highly entertaining and pulsating car chase scenes that are a total joy to watch. The film doesn't only rely on car chases for its action as it features classic shootouts in different locations to keep things fresh. This movie proves that modern day action does not need any gimmicks via camera techniques or CGI to be enthralling to audiences, instead it lets your interest in the characters and gripping tensions between them.

The film is filled with an abundance of great, unique characters with fantastic performances all around. Ansel Ergot stars as Baby who is quietly great as his characters quirks and charms make up for a lack of vocality. Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzales and Kevin Spacey provide great support to Ergot as the more willing robbers which allows Baby to seem more innocent. The writing of the film also keeps you guessing the true motivations of the characters and whether or not they are good or bad. It isn't until late on that a main villain is established after an unexpected turn of events. Ergot works incredibly well with Lily James, Baby's potential love interest who share great chemistry with one another. The two characters are incredibly sweet and you root for the two to get all that thy could possibly want. Due to the nature of the film, this does have you biting your nails and hoping for the best when either one is threatened. One small criticism is that the relationship between the two may seem fairly rushed, with the two hitting it off and deciding to spend their lives with each other very quickly. The characters are all unique and memorable, with different traits that will have you second guessing them throughout the runtime. There are interesting conflicts due to this, with different ideologies, tempers and personalities creating interesting situations and ensuring that every scene has a bit of fire in it.

Music plays a huge role in this feature as it is a plot point - Baby plays music to combat his Tinnitus and syncs it up to whenever he is driving on the job. Due to this, the film has a killer soundtrack, putting every other soundtrack this year to shame - sorry 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2'. The music from Queen, Golden Earring and T.Rex ensure that 'Baby Driver' is not only the film of the summer but the soundtrack of it as well. The music is used throughout action scenes and is choreographed within the scenes to match the stunts happening at the same time. The music blends in to add an extra layer of enjoyment throughout the action packed scenes that will have you humming the tunes on your way out of the cinema. The use of the soundtrack is vital as it even helps with the humour, with Baby's choices of music and rocking out in certain situations drawing laughs.

There probably won't be another movie that will combine so many different genre elements and be so succesful at doing so. The action, humour, characters, story and music are all great, combining to make one of the most fun film's released in a long time. It's a basic tale of someone being dragged back into the world of crime but it feels so fresh due to Wright's magical touch. 'Baby Driver' has a special charm to it that you don't get often today. A special, original film that you most definitely should check out.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Baby Driver'? If so, what did you think of the film? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie or not, I highly recommend that you see this one as soon as possible. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor