You know how some movies are sooo hyped, they got you all excited but then turned out to be nowhere near your expectations? Yeah, Baby Driver isn’t one of those. Quite the opposite, even. Because Baby Driver was fucking awesome. Or, to quote a line, this shit is bananas.
Baby (Ansel Elgort) was the best getaway driver in Atlanta – as long as he got his tracks. He had hoped he could quit the life of crime once he settled his debt with heist mastermind Doc (Kevin Spacey). He just want to live a normal life with Debora (Lily James), the girl of his dreams.
But once you’re in, you can’t just walk away. Even when you had those killer tracks lined up in your playlist.
Baby Driver was a course filled with well placed twists and turns, and Edgar Wright was a well versed driver who knew all the right tricks. He floored the pedal from start to finish, and still provided a smooth ride without uncomfortable bumps. He shifted gears between crime drama, quirky romance, and thrilling actions with such graceful ease. Truly, if Edgar Wright was a driver, then this movie would be his personal racecourse and we were taking a ride in his favorite set of wheels.
But what made Baby Driver truly wondrous was the music. Music department, both scoring and soundtrack, has always been a way to build momentum and enhance feelings in a movie. It could even helped move the story along, the way it did in the likes of August Rush, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, or even La La Land. But in Baby Driver, music did more than just contributed to the story and increase the movie’s overall value. Rather, it’s apt to say that the story and the songs inspired each other so much they became inseparable. Each and every song fitted its scene like a tailored glove, and those scenes added another layer of meaning to their respective songs. It’s safe to say that Edgar Wright took “creating a soundtrack for one’s life” to a whole new level. Add the stylish artistic choices to the mix, from deadass pretty costume designs to those wallpaper worthy shots, and you’ve got a to die for movie.
Being the clever bastard that he is, Edgar Wright also made Baby Driver felt both familiar and foreign. Each of the characters could’ve easily fall into a trope commonly seen in such actions crime, but they didn’t. He deconstructed what made a dashing getaway driver by presenting his own, arguably, stellar version. His “life of crime” was less of a jet-set affair with tightly knit team, and more of a strictly business deal with people one worked with out of necessity. His romance was on the meet-cute side of the spectrum, but it still felt believable and covetable. The story did follow a patented pattern, but Wright tweaked it so that it seemed otherwise. He’s the DJ who made an insanely good remix of our bop that we never knew we needed.
Of course, much of it was due to the solid casts. Each one of them belonged in their role, and it’d be a crime to replace them with anyone else. Jon Bernthal was sadly wasted as Griff and CJ Jones’s Joseph was just The Conscience, but the others were downright great. Ansel Elgort portrayed Baby as an awkward and unnerving kid who’s actually kind and lovable. He made his discomfort palpable enough, so his choice to repressed his emotions as a way of keeping his guards up felt oddly relatable. And it made his outbursts all the more delicious. Debora wasn’t explored well enough to be more than two dimensional love interest with impeccable timing, but the way Lily James carried herself and the way she looked at Baby (and vice versa) made one somehow understand why she’s worth falling for. Kevin Spacey portrayed Doc with underlying charm that made him trustworthy despite the calculative criminal one should never cross facade. Jamie Foxx was top-notch as the trigger happy Bats, instilling animosity with every little thing he did. Eiza Gonzalez was irresistible as Darling, and she and Buddy could probably be the new Bonnie and Clyde. Speaking of, Buddy was possibly the most humane character. All thanks to Jon Hamm who showed various sides of Buddy and breathed life into him. It’s not some oscar shit, but he’s certainly a scene-stealer.
Baby Driver felt like driving to the sunset in a car I can’t afford with a plan I don’t have while listening to a playlist of mean killer tracks. It was exhilarating, filled with unpredictable surprises, and it got me grinning like a lovesick fool. It’s a high octane action crime, a delightful romance, a stylishly classy flick, and it most definitely got the best soundtrack of the year (sorry, James Gunn). It might not be the ride of your life, but it’s unmistakably a ride you’d be sorry to miss.
Director: Edgar Wright. Writer: Edgar Wright. Released on: 30th September 2017 (Indonesia). Casts: Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, CJ Jones.