Edgar Wright is one of the most original filmmakers working today. He is a film geek making movies for other film geeks. Ever since his directorial breakthrough on the television show Spaced, Wright has been garnering critical acclaim as a genre-bender. Baby Driver is no exception.
To say that this film is well-directed would be the understatement of the year. Wright is a masterful visual director, putting in “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” visual gags like it’s nobody’s business. Wright makes use of practical effects, using CGI only when it’s needed. Along with Mad Max: Fury Road, Baby Driver will signal the return of the car chase movie.
While Baby Driver takes its inspiration from heist movies such as Reservoir Dogs, the film also takes its inspiration from an unlikely source: musicals. The movie’s soundtrack is another character of the movie. Wright uses this inspiration to choreograph many scenes of the movie to the music, including the car chases. I would be surprised if this movie doesn’t inspire online debates on whether the film could be considered a musical.
It is worth mentioning that Wright is just as great a screenwriter as he is a film director. As demonstrated by his earlier films such as Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz, Wright has a knack for writing clever dialogue. Although this film isn’t as “comedic” as his previous films, the film still has a dry sense of wit.
Another great aspect about this film is its cast. Although Ansel Elgort did a fine job in The Fault in Our Stars, I felt his performance as the titular Baby is his breakthrough performance. Like Ryan Gosling’s character in Drive, he gives an effective performance without giving out a lot of dialogue. I felt he had a great chemistry with co-star Lily James. Kevin Spacey and Jon Hamm are the standouts within the film’s supporting cast. Kevin Spacey uses his deadpan humor to bring his kingpin character Doc to life. Jon Hamm, on the hand, gives his character Buddy some humanity. Jamie Foxx is hilarious as the comic relief, Bats.
Overall, Baby Driver is another great addition to Edgar Wright’s already impressive filmography. The film manages to take elements from different genres and mashes them up together to make an original movie. Baby Driver is the best movie I have seen this year so far, and I am going to give it my highest recommendation.