Callum’s Take On Baby Driver

Baby Driver photo

B, A, B, Y, Baby! Baby Driver is the latest film from master director Edgar Wright.

I call him master director because not only has he not made a single bad film, but all of his films are considered to be great modern classics. This includes Shawn of the Dead, The Worlds End, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, the TV show Spaced, and my personal favourite of his, Hot Fuzz. The man has never let us down and I was honestly interested to see what he could bring to the table with Baby Driver. The trailers looked great and the cast looked amazing, so I was quickly hooked and begging to see this film. However, I could say the same with many films lately, and they have been rather disappointing of late. Could Wright break the streak, or has he finally stumbled?

Baby is a driver. He is the getaway man, the one who drives bank robbers in the getaway vehicle. He also happens to be the best driver for a job like this. Baby also has tinnitus; you know that ringing you get after a concert? Well, it’s permanent for him. So he plays music to drown it out. Classic songs and some he makes himself, whatever it takes to quiet the ringing. Baby has one more job to do and then he is out. He can leave the bad business and be with Debbie, the waitress he is smitten by. But, as these things go, this “last job” might very well end up being Baby’s last job.

Of all of Wright’s films, this is probably his most basic. It’s very typical of a heist movie at times. But, while the film can be pretty unpredictable, you can tell the beats. You know certain things are going to happen. Like the “last job” story. There’s the loose cannon character. There’s the sociopath who goes full blown psycho the closer we get to the end. The cop chase. The scouting the bank scene. We are all familiar with these plot points, even if we don’t know it.

But, what saves Baby Driver from being a simple “been-there-done-that” is how these moments are set up and executed. Because, while you will find moments familiar, I promise you that you have never seen a film like Baby Driver before.

Wright has done it again, with a vengeance. And from him, I would expect nothing less. Baby Driver is stunning in almost every way. It’s visually interesting, with little moments hidden in the background as well as hidden in the foreground. The opening features one of the best uses of graffiti I’ve ever seen in a film. And Baby’s tinnitus and addiction to music are key to this films style. This film uses its songs and music even better than Guardians of the Galaxy ever did. I would almost go as far as to call Baby Driver a musical with how it uses its songs. It really does have to be seen to be believed.

Edgar Wright, much like George Miller, insisted on using actual cars, roads and stunts and pretty much no CGI at all. Because of this, the action and chase scenes are all breathtakingly intense and phenomenal. Almost to the point of Mad Max Fury Road levels, although Baby Driver does play it more for laughs at times too. It’s equal parts funny and exciting, and often both. This is probably less violent than the Cornetto Trilogy (Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The Worlds End), but there is still some violence and a little bit of gore to go around still. The comedy works its way between these action moments, but never to the point where it feels psychotic. It’s just all in the name of fun.

In the centre of all this talent that Wright brings in buckets to the table, is the cast. Ansel Elgort, the guy from A Fault in Our Stars, plays Baby and he is perfect in this role. He gives us so much emotion and visual performing to a mostly silent role. He easily holds his own and could easily hold this film together if he needed to. Along with his is Lily James as Debbie, and powerhouses like Jamie Foxx, Jon Bernthal, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm and Kevin Spacey. With names like these I don’t think I should mention how amazing the performances are. It may be a stretch to call these the best performances of all these actors careers, but they are definitely contending for that spot. Everyone looked like they were giving it their all, while also having fun. Especially Jon Hamm. I can’t remember the last time I saw him in anything. I’m glad this film reminded me why I love Jon Hamm. But what I will say about the relationship between Baby and Debbie is, while it’s not bad (Elgort and James have great chemistry), it is rushed and therefore a little unbelievable at times. It’s an unfortunate gripe I have, but it does get saved by the performances.

I don’t feel that I could add any more to Baby Driver. Not without spoiling it anyway.

And I don’t want to spoil it. It’s a great film, and one you can’t miss! A rushed romance and the odd familiar moment does nothing to slow down one of the year’s most unique films. I always look forward to Wright’s films and I’m eager to see what he will make next. But in the meantime, I know that Wright likes to hide jokes and messages in his films for later watches. So, I guess I’m just going to have to see Baby Driver again, and again.

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Callum spends most free days with friends (mostly watching films, to be honest), caring for his dog, writing, more writing and watching films whenever he can find the chance (which is very often).


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