Heists and iPods – Baby Driver (2017)

Switching gears.  So this is about a getaway driver that goes by the name Baby (Ansel Elgort).  He’s just about finished paying off a debt to a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), but when you deal with the shifty, things are never that simple.  Now that we have finally reached the month of July, we’ve reached movies that have my peak interest.  Every single weekend of the month features the release of a movie that is hot on my watchlist, and kicking it all off is Baby Driver.  It’s the new Edgar Wright movie, and he is a director that as far as I am concerned has a perfect track record.  Even though this is very much a genre film, I do feel like this is a departure for him.  Regardless, it is still a lot of damn fun.

1Just don’t go in expecting infants driving cars.

Now the one very interesting takeaway for me is that my wife ended up liking this more than I did, and I’m the one who typically gets more into action flicks like this.  I think that has everything to do with expectations, because I really do hold Edgar Wright to a much higher standard than other directors.  This is only his fifth film in thirteen years, and when he decides to do a project, he never half-asses it.  If you look at his entire library, almost everything that he does is a deconstruction.  He’s done it with zombies, action movies, science-fiction and even hipster culture.  This is the first movie that isn’t that, and he has made just a straight-up action movie in Baby Driver.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you, and speaking candidly, if this was directed by anybody else, I probably would have liked it even better, because it is competently made, and all of the other Edgar Wright staples are there: the editing is tight, the jokes are laugh out loud funny, the soundtrack is brilliant and the action is on point.

2And you have Jon Hamm playing a rascal criminal.

I do like the cast in this a lot, although I do feel that the supporting cast outshines the starring roles.  Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx are terrific in this, and every time they are on screen, this movie is firing on all cylinders.  I will say that it is not as jam-packed with jokes as previous Edgar Wright movies; it is still really funny, but I am used to about two jokes per minute solely based on his prior works.  I know it may sound like I am coming down hard on this, but at the end of the day, I did have a really good time with this, it just wasn’t precisely the good time that I was expecting to have.

Baby Driver (2017) ****

– Critic for Hire


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