This is the first time I am talking about a recent movie and I could have written a review for Shin Godzilla, but I want to see it a few more times before doing a full review. Now with this movie, at this point I have seen this four times. So one must assume that I enjoyed this movie to go see it four times. Well you are WRONG! Nah, just kidding, I really loved this movie from my all time favorite director Edgar Wright. I am not saying one of my favorite directors, this is my favorite director. I have no doubts that Edgar is my favorite. I have talked about his films on websites before with so much positivity that I just make sure to catch myself up with his works. With Baby Driver in his collection, I feel this is going to be a new big step for Wright just like how I feel Scott Pilgrim was a nice stepping block as well. There is still that unique feel of this director, but he clearly shows new direction with possibly the best usage of a soundtrack. This is also my favorite film of 2017, I do not even care what else is coming this year, I know this is the movie of the year.
So before getting to the plot of this movie, I want to talk about the soundtrack since the songs came before the movie itself. I am not lying, the idea of the soundtrack being the building blocks of the movie was the actual idea. This sounds crazy, but when knowing how certain songs do have similar lyrics or feelings to them, it seems possible to construct a movie with it. With this idea the soundtrack itself has become a character in the film since it is moving the plot in a strange and exciting way. Some songs are used more than once, but when you hear it one time and know it is coming again quickly establishes the mood of the scene. Even when you hear certain tracks for the first time in the movie, the first notes really makes things clear. Then with how sound effects flow with the songs makes things feel natural and not a gimmick. I have to say after watching this movie, really gives you a sense of rhythm since you were naturally paying attention to the sounds of cars, guns, and other random noises go in sync with the music. In terms of the sound editing, this is so far my favorite mix and if this does not get any awards for it, I will slap someone!
Along with the amazing soundtrack being fused with great sound editing, there is then Edgar’s directing. I love how everything moves in his movies since nothing is being ignored. When something is in motion it will stay in motion even when off camera. I feel that more films need to be doing this, since it is extremely important to keep that flow. It is exciting to pay attention to when things are moving, it works with your sense of object permanence, which again thanks to how Edgar directs his films, comes naturally. Then with things not being forgotten, there will be many lines being used again in different context though. Or they are being used to easily connect elements. Edgar has a great sense of foreshadowing because it can be quite random to a normal viewer, but thanks to how Edgar repeats these aspects, makes the joke funny and engaging. Watching his films means you have to pay attention since he loves to play with your ability to pay attention. With Baby Driver so far, I keep noticing new things and this is four times so far and I still find new things. The same can be said for Hot Fuzz since I have watched it over ten times and can find a new small detail somewhere.
Now the basic story is a young boy trying to get out from the bad crowd. The main character, Baby has been the driver for these trained criminals. They keep robbing banks or any place with profit and Baby has been doing this for about a decade. He gets himself stuck because of one bad move in his past and is working to get himself out, but he learns that it is not easy at all. Along with this when he is thinking he is getting away, his foster-father tries to get him on a better path and Baby starts meeting a new girl in his life, Debora. Baby starts to makes moves on Debora and even his foster father approves of this and gets him a real job too. Sadly, Baby is called back to the car for another job by the big boss that could easily ruin his life. Along with him he works with certain criminals and gets associated with three specific ones. Buddy and Darling are a couple and are surprisingly nice to the young man, Buddy even shares the same taste of music. Meanwhile, a man named Bats thinks he is quite bothersome and a little too strange, and he is a bit too trigger happy. Overall the characters do seem quite simple, but Edgar Wright hides many details of who they actually are in the dialogue or in brief shots, like their real names.
The action of the film is incredibly high as this is not Edgar’s first movie with car chases or using cars in action sequences. This is more of a heist movie though compared to something like Hot Fuzz with the focus on gun play at the end of the movie. Baby Driver really does great with car action and it does not get too crazy at the same time. It is a reason why I am not the biggest fan of Fast and the Furious because the cameras in those movies can be a little out of control in the wrong way. With Baby Driver, things do move fast, but your eyes can easily follow the action. You can see the direct paths the cars are moving and see each impact. Thanks to the easy to follow action, you can also pay attention to the lines being spouted out during those moments. With the use of the main character being called Baby, there was a nice streak of jokes where the robbers were wearing Austin Powers masks where of course they had to say “Yea baby!” The action is presented so well too that even when you are not seeing it, there can be brief moments you see the action in a corner or something as such and with what happens afterwards, you can easily imagine how things were going down.
Baby Driver to some may seem like a basic movie, but with the four times I have watched this movie, I can say this is clearly an Edgar Wright product. There are many little details sprinkled around that ends up adding so much details. One I will say is a surprising parallel between Baby and one certain character, which I found with my fourth viewing. Then for in terms of acting I ended loving John Ham’s performance as Buddy the most because Buddy easily goes through a nice 180 for his character and made it feel understandable while scary at the same time. An honorable mention will be CJ Jones as Joseph as this man was able to show off emotion so well and his performance made him my favorite character in the film. I say go see this movie whenever you can because not only did Edgar Wright put his quality in this, he even put his heart into this film since this has been a movie he has been wanting to do. Edgar Wright, you are one of the most talented directors around and my personal favorite.