Film Reviews

Baby Driver (2017)

baby-driver-poster.jpg

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Lily James, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey

Director: Edgar Wright

Baby is a young man roped into working as a getaway driver for a local crime kingpin. Suffering from chronic tinnitus that is only drowned out by music, since the car accident that killed his mother, Baby lives with his deaf foster parent, and has dreams of getting away and starting over with the local diner waitress Debbie. But it’s not so easy to walk away when the boss isn’t willing to let you go. Can Baby survive one last bank job? Or will all his plans go awry?

Baby Driver is an odd film. It functions a bit like a musical, with visual rhythms that match the excellent score. It’s a highly stylish and stylised film. But for a film about a kid who has some really great driving skills, there’s not enough time in the car. His driving skills are such a great focus, and yet we spend a lot of time listening to people spout cliches at each other. And while the amount of musicality in the opening sequence gets a little annoying, it then almost disappears enitrely from the film, kind of undermining it’s own promise.

The set up for this film is quite strong, with supporting cast like Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey, as well as Jon Hamm, and Lily James as Debbie. The script doesn’t give them a lot to do really, other than be fairly obvious and one dimensional characters, but they are all giving it their best, and are quite likeable. It’s just that the film feels a little confused. It wants to be a car chase film with music, which would be awesome, but there’s too much time spent elsewhere, and the characters all change their motivations at the end of the film, which if done well could have been revealing, but just feels flat and odd. Honestly, I found myself quite bored during this film, because I wanted more sound and fury and got a lot of cliché and talking.

But there is something about this film that’s very charming. It’s colourful and bright. It has good actors. The soundtrack is good. Baby is an interesting character. The chase scenes are good. There’s just not quite enough of these things as there should be. But I think a lot of you will get a kick out of this film, all the same.

See It If: you like colourful films with music that are not actually musicals. This film is confused, but has it’s delights.

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7 thoughts on “Baby Driver (2017)”

  1. Too many inconsistencies in the film. The direction is superb (Edgar Wright), but the writing gives away too much to suspend disbelief. For example, Foxx was the one person to focus on Lily James’ nametag, but then it’s Darling who mentions “Oh, isn’t that name the name of the girl at the DINER?” Pffft.

    Moreover, Spacey mentions he only works one crew per job, but he obviously uses same dudes in the same jobs (though diff jobs). Inconsistency.

    Even further in depth, when Spacey’s crew shoots it out w/ the dealers, Spacey then admits those dudes were HIS cops, so why not tell his people they were his cops that he hired? Instead, it becomes a full shootout vs good cops and corrupts cops vs Spacey’s thieves. Jamie Foxx is an idiot, Hamm is an idiot, Hamm’s girl is an idiot, everyone behaves like an idiot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “the characters all change their motivations at the end of the film, which if done well could have been revealing, but just feels flat and odd. ” That’s spot on Hermione. I really enjoyed it the opening and liked Kevin Spacey’s nephew but it was a mixed bag for me and the above is part of it. Coming off some big buzz I think hurt it for me with high expectations.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been seeing a lot of positive reviews for this one, and that always makes me a bit skeptical. With a few exceptions, no movie is without flaws. So I’m glad to see a little bit less of a positive post for this film. I haven’t seen it myself yet, I missed it in theatres, but I will probably catch it at some point. As always a terrific and well balanced review 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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