As someone who’s crazy about films, I will admit that I’m incredibly lucky to be growing up in a time that seems to have perfected car chase movies. Back in 2011, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive seemed to be something of a favourite among the critics including myself. Drive is a film that’s considerably more serious in tone with pacing that almost felt like it was deliberately made to be slow, only to explode with spouts of violence in the last 30 minutes or so. Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver clearly takes some inspiration from what is arguably Refn’s best film, although it almost seems to take that film and turn it upside down.
Edgar Wright’s signature editing techniques kick into gear right from the very beginning and never let up. Baby Driver’s lead character played by Ansel Elgort, found himself in a car crash when he was just a young boy, ever since then he’s had this humming in his ears, so he regularly plays music to drown it out. In the hands of the wrong director that could become something of a gimmick, but Edgar Wright uses it as a tool to take his standard of editing to new heights. Various songs fade in and out throughout the course of the film and all the car chases, gun fights and so on are all meticulously crafted to be in time with whatever may be playing at that moment. It’s extremely clever and the song selection is more than pleasing, I can see this being the kind of film that people will pick up on Blu-Ray accompanied by its soundtrack.
Alongside Ansel Elgort the film also boasts some strong performances from the likes of Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Jon Hamm. Baby Driver could be given so many different genre labels, but it’s tough to try and decide on just one and to even try in the first place would be a discredit to such a wonderfully unconventional film. If I had to make one criticism towards Edgar Wright’s latest it would have to be the whole relationship dynamic, which is actually quite central to the film’s narrative, the problem is I just didn’t find it as compelling as I perhaps should have. However if you find yourself having the same problem there’s still plenty of fun to be had with Baby Driver and it’s definitely one of the best offerings we’ve had so far this summer.