Directed by: Edgar Wright
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx
Runtime: 113 min
Edgar Wright brings us Baby (Ansel Elgort), an incredibly talented getaway driver that uses his personal music to drive at the sound of the beat.
When Doc (Kevin Spacey) forces Baby to continue to do some heists, the latter must face everything and everyone in order to save his life and his loved ones.
In my opinion, a movie's score is one of the five most important details of its success. It doesn't matter if it's a musical, a drama or a horror film, its soundtrack must be epic and memorable so that it triumphs in the big scenes.
Baby Driver has THAT score! Without it, this movie wouldn't be as awesome as it is and it wouldn't definitely be part of my favorite films of 2017! The soundtrack is part of the story, it adds more depth to the dialogue scenes, it helps developing characters and it elevates the action sequences making them feel much more fun and entertaining. It's a perfect score for an amazing movie.
As expected in an action film with pretty much only car chases, the direction skills used are always my biggest concern: am I going to be able to actually follow the action sequences? Or is it going to be full of cuts and cars with no route whatsoever which will make it all extremely confusing and disorienting? Well, Edgar Wright nails the chasing scenes and adds some more cool shootouts and bank heists!
They are riveting, captivating, extremely fun and edited flawlessly. There's very little CGI in the chasing sequences and some long takes help to fluidly follow the cars without it becoming a mess in my head. I always know where they are, where they're going and what they're doing. The phenomenal editing is consistent throughout the movie and the cinematography is just beautiful. Excellent camera work with incredibly long one-takes (one of the opening scenes is a complete masterpiece) prove that Edgar Wright is one of the best directors working today!
The cast also plays a huge role. Ansel Elgort, who I didn't know that well, has a great performance even if it is very subtle. It's not a "full-on" performance with tons of scenes where he shines, but he definitely brings the attention all to himself due to his well-portrayed character's personality. Kevin Spacey is a legend! He just does what he always does: be himself. He doesn't even act, he just goes through the dialogue so fascinatingly fast, but in a way that keeps us very captivated and mindful. His character has some slight depth that he elevates brilliantly alongside his usual burst of charisma.
As for the rest of the cast, everyone is really great, but I have to take my hat off to Lily James (Deborah), who is able to be romantic as well as dramatic without ever feeling over-the-top or even cliche. Her chemistry with Ansel is amazing and the dialogue scenes become very captivating at the sound of some perfect music. The romance is one of the things that some people might find boring, "more of the same" or just unnecessary (this last one is nonsense), but the actors/characters are so interesting and compelling that they are able to raise the quality of a potential flaw, one that I find pretty great.
Jon Hamm (Buddy) is a surprise and pulls off a great performance as well as Jamie Foxx (Bats) who portrays a badass in a cool way. The cast's chemistry is palpable and everyone seems to be having fun with the shooting instead of being there just to collect their paycheck.
Baby is the main character so his backstory and present situation is very well developed, but I'm happy that the writers didn't forget the supporting characters. Everyone receives something that makes me care for them, at least enough for me to be at the edge of my seat during the action scenes. The writing is extremely well-balanced, it never transforms the film into just a comedy (due to the fantastic humor) or just a drama (due to the dialogue/character development scenes). It's just right on point.
My only issue with this movie are some moments during the second act. Despite the film's fast pacing, the main story isn't anything new or unique, it pretty much follows the path that I am expecting from the beginning. Because of that, the second act drags a little bit during some scenes that aren't that interesting and that don't have that much depth or significance to them.
All in all, Baby Driver is one of my favorite movies of this year! Exciting action/chasing sequences, a brilliant direction from Edgar Wright (from the beautiful cinematography to the extremely well-handled camera work and flawless editing), some captivating and compelling characters, a cast with terrific chemistry and with Ansel Elgort surprisingly stepping up to the plate. The writing's on point and the soundtrack is the film's main attribute: without it, everything else loses both depth and awesomeness. It's just memorable. Some pacing issues during the second act don't let me give it the maximum rating, but it's still a simply fantastic, fun and super entertaining movie!