I mentioned on Twitter that waiting to see Baby Driver was the most excited I had been about a non-superhero movie in a long time. I finally saw it this week (I even convinced my almost-60 year old mother to come along – she loved it, btw) and it didn’t disappoint me in the slightest. Coming out of the theatre, I was reeling; my mind was going a mile a minute. The way Baby Driver made me feel is the reason why I love going to the movies. I can’t promise this won’t have spoilers in it (please just stop what you’re doing and go see it, okay?) but I came up with 5 reasons why I think Baby Driver is the must-see movie of the year so far..
A True Standalone
When you hear the word “standalone”, your mind probably still jumps into superhero or monster mode – thinking about a movie where the characters and plot stand alone but are really part of a greater whole. If we look hard enough we can find amazing and original films and television shows that are brand spanking new, but so much of it isn’t. Reboot, remake, recycle. I love a cinematic universe as much as the next person, but Baby Driver was a breath of fresh and exciting air. Outside of trailers, you don’t know who Baby is before seeing this movie. There’s no homework or prerequisites or required reading before seeing Baby Driver and I think that worked in its favour. Of course there’s already buzz about a possible sequel, which would probably be great. There’s no doubt I could have spent a few more hours in the Baby Driver world, but I’m also completely fine with how it ended. It’s always a fine line between wanting more of a movie and risking being let down by a sequel. (Let the record state that if Edgar Wright is on board for number 2, then so am I).
I loved every character in this movie – even the ones you aren’t supposed to like at all. The top of the list for me, besides Baby, was Joseph, Baby’s deaf foster father who he cares for. I was very moved by their relationship and pleasantly surprised to see that storyline in the movie since it was not in the trailers. Baby himself was so compelling and a joy to watch throughout the entire movie. The chemistry between all the characters was strong and really translated into all the humour and tension you feel in the movie. I love the complexity of a well written and well performed bad guy. The kind you find yourself enjoying and kind of rooting for until they really get going on their own villainous journeys. Buddy, Jon Hamm’s character, is a great example. He’s funny, kind of charming and sticks up for Baby in the beginning. He kinda won me over. Of course when he decides that it’s Baby’s fault when everything goes wrong, then you remember that, yeah, he’s evil and crazy.
One of the big reasons why Baby Driver was so good is the cast. With so many heavy hitters, there was never a dull moment in any scene. Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx and Eiza González all killed it; they were funny, crazy, scary and all manner of intense. Jon Bernthal, Flea and Lanny Joon were on par with the A-team, I just wish they had as much screen time. I really loved Lily James and Ansel Elgort as Baby and Deborah. Even though the love story was a bit unrealistic, it didn’t feel out of place with the tone of the film and Lily and Ansel’s combined performances made it work really well. I wasn’t too familiar with Ansel Elgort before, and I had heard some people say they didn’t care for him, but I think he was great as Baby and he probably gained a few new fans through this role.
Maybe the number one takeaway from Baby Driver is the soundtrack and how music is weaved into the movie. No one breaks into song, not really, anyways, so it’s hard to classify Baby Driver as a musical in my opinion, but I’ve rarely seen a movie use music like this. I read that Edgar Wright describes it as “soundtracking” your own life, which I found totally relatable. A really great song practically forces you to imagine a visual narrative that goes along with it. Surely I’m not the only one who directs music videos in my head? But honestly, the soundtrack is insane. I don’t remember the last movie I saw that ended up having a 30-track soundtrack. I’m dying to get my hands on a physical copy of it just so I can listen to it in my car. Then there’s the songs themselves, which were so expertly chosen and matched with characters and plot points. Let’s Go Away For A While. Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms). Nowhere To Run. Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up. BABY DRIVER. Okay, that last one was a no brainer, but still. I was also completely fine with the action being in sync with the music. A few people said it was a bit kitschy, and I wasn’t really sure how much Mickey Mousing I should expect going into the movie, but it wasn’t blatant or obnoxious to me.
Just Plain Fun
Like I said, the way I felt leaving the theatre after seeing Baby Driver is the reason why I love movies. Everything I’ve talked about so far combined so perfectly to make the movie just plain FUN. I was smiling, I felt energized, all I wanted to do was turn the radio up on the drive home. It made me want to buy a Subaru and learn stick shift. It made me want to put my headphones on and sing and dance down the street. I often gauge my movie ratings by whether or not I would rewatch something, and in this case, I would 100% rewatch Baby Driver. Go see it.
What did you think of Baby Driver?
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