Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Baby Driver - Review

Baby Driver

Get ready, set, and drive like a "Baby Bat" out of hell to your local theater to see British Director Edgar Wright’s (i.e. "Shaun of the Dead' ) campy, fun, smart, slick, awesome MTV-ish soundtrack, cops and robbers action thriller with the odd marquee title “Baby Driver”.

PLOT: Taking place in Atlanta, we find a talented, young getaway driver named “Baby” (Ansel Elgort i.e. The Fault in Our Stars) who relies on the upbeat tempo of his personal soundtracks that he constantly listens to, mostly as a mechanism to being the best in the game; which is driving his car in the most crazy and imaginative of ways from the clutches of pursuing police. However, one day while waiting in a diner for his next assignment, he meets the girl of his dreams named Debora, a young waitress working there (Lilly James). Baby realizes for the very first time there is a chance to ditch this criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the “music” (so to speak) when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.

REVIEW: With a running time of 1:13, the thing that first jumps out about “Baby Driver” is FINALLY, someone has developed a completely inventive and original film for you to watch. Director Wright works his movie each step of the way like a classical conductor working his baton with an array of sweeping and gyrating motions that seem to command his eclectic cast to twist, jump, skip, hop and dance across the screen to his endless array of popular tunes.

Wright also to his credit starts out his "Baby" in the first half with a rather light whimsical touch that slowly and effectively evolves into a more consequentially story line that felt real in the moment and yet keeps one foot on the cinematic accelerator of always trying to be unpredictable, hilarious, witty, romantic and an energetically dangerous to the very end.

"Baby Driver" has a bit of wildness and an elegance working for itself; a bit cool and a sinister to move its story; a touch of classical and refine qualities to round out its plot. But the real strength of this film rest largely on the decision made to select the array of fine supporting cast members. Starting with 2 time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey who plays “Doc” who is the ever present menacing boss of the gang and who also has the best one liners in the film. Emmy Winner Jon Hamm (aka Don Draper from Mad Men) and his partner Eiza Gonzalez who play “Buddy and Darling” work effectively together bringing their sleazy levity cool to the screen. Jon Berntahl (formerly Shane Walsh from The Walking Dead) plays another "not so level headed" bank robber in Doc's crew. And finally Oscar winner Jamie Foxx who plays a street smart, hard-nosed as hell, take no prisoners BS from anyone career thief named “Bats”.

"Baby Driver" can claim its rightful place on the exalted mantel of being one of the most dynamic films you will ever see, as Wright meticulously crafts and executed each scene around an endless framework of music that uniquely syncs up with the cast and visual motion of the film itself. If there is one criticism is sometimes I think there was a bit too much music. BUT WHY SPOIL MY REVIEW WITH MORE DETAILS; I dare not say a single word more. Just go see “Baby Driver and go with the musical high speed flow of the story. 

Now, of course the whole plot is totally preposterous, sometimes a bit silly and on occasion millennially "short attention span" light for anyone to ever contemplate having any real seriousness about it. But the overall reason the whole film does works, in spite of its minor flaws, is it's just plain campy fun to watch every frame.

"Baby Driver" is thrilling entertainment. The FIRST MUST SEE FILM FOR 2017 that lives up to its hype. You will not see any film like this all year.

4.00 Stars

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