Seen 5th June
Edgar Wright has been somewhat of a miracle of cinema since he burst through the door with Shaun of the Dead. He’s a man who knows what he want’s to make and always had a way of selling his work. From Shaun to Hot Fuzz to Scott Pilgrim, time and time again Edgar proved to everyone that he knew his stuff. Edgar has never made anything quite as perfect as Baby Driver.
From the start of the movie you know this is a film that’s going to make you obscenely happy if you’re a film nerd. Trick shots like the building that looks like a road as a metaphorical establishment shot or a gorgeous single take scene set to Harlem Shuffle by Bob & Earl will set your heart racing because they are so perfectly executed. The single take shot in particular is insane, lyrics are written on the wall as Baby just dances down the street and orders coffee. It’s a simple scene that in any other film wouldn’t even be shot but in this film it’s not only one of the highlights in a film full of highs, it’s flawlessly performed by Ansel Elgort who instantly makes Baby the most lovable character in the film with this one scene of joyful innocence just after we’ve seen him take part in the opening heist.
Do not be shocked, by the way, when this film is inevitably nominated for an Oscar for sound design. I so rarely care that much about sound design but in this film it’s critical and it works. The main character, Baby, suffer’s from tinnitus and while we are reminded of it repeatedly, it feels like it’s always in the background. The use of diegetic sound for the music is perfect, it fit’s the story and fits the main character. I love how whenever Baby has his music on, everything syncs up perfectly too it and it gives the film a very specific feel. The song choices are amazing, they use a Queen song that I am confident many people don’t know which is an impressive feat (It’s Brighton Rock, or as I’m sure most know it “That one you skipped when listening to Sheer Heart Attack so you could get to Killer Queen). Every song fits the movie and none of them feel obvious. There are no songs that feel like they were picked because they make good driving music, they were picked because they fit the character and by god do they elevate the movie even more.
Other than Ansel, the entire cast is just spellbinding. Kevin Spacey creates a intense menacing character who can still show some kind of affection to Baby when he needs too. Jamie Foxx playing a crazy sociopath who shoots first and doesn’t even consider asking questions later because who gives a damn about later? Amazing. Jon Hamm has to turn on a dime between about three major kinds of character and he does it without blinking. Lily James get’s the normally thankless task of being the main romantic interest but she loads the character with enough quirks to be fascinating and when she has too, she is not afraid to kick some ass.
The script for this film just stunned me, it has some great lines like “He put the asian in home invasion” or “He’s a looney. Just like his tunes” destroyed me. In any other movie with any other cast those lines would be the corniest things ever. Those lines were said by Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx and in those men’s mouths, those lines land and they land well. Every single joke works, every bit of important information is delivered perfectly, every setup for a action sequence is perfectly planned.
Oh god the action scenes! They do things with cars that amaze and astound anyone and it’s all real, or at least you could convince me it was. There are no insane stupid moments, you believe it’s just great driving by a great driver who knows his way around a stick shift. It’s amazing and, again, it’s all perfectly synced to the music in ways that would make Michel Gondry feel inadequate.
It’s a perfect film, there isn’t a single moment where it feels slow or overdone. I cannot praise this film enough.