Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Film Review: "Baby Driver" (2017).

"All you need is one killer track." Brace yourself for Baby Driver. This action crime film written and directed by Edgar Wright. A talented, young getaway driver relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams, Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway.

Baby Driver was first conceived by Wright in 1995, while living in North London, after he found inspiration from envisioning a post-heist car chase set to the 1994 song Bellbottoms by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Which would ultimately be used as the film's opening scene. He began writing the script, and then adapted it into a 2003 music video he directed for Mint Royale's Blue Song, starring Noel Fielding as a music-loving getaway driver for a group of bank robbers. Other inspirations for the film came from the films Straight Time (1978), The Driver (1978), The Blues Brothers (1980), Raising Arizona (1987), Riding Bean (1989), Point Break (1991), Reservoir Dogs (1992), and Heat (1995). Wright finished the script in 2011, and the film was announced in July 2014. By January 2015 it was reported that Ansel Elgort was in talks to star. In May 2015, Lily James was reported to be in talks to be the female lead. In September, Jamie Foxx was reported to be in talks to join the film. In October, Jon Hamm signed on to play one of the villains. In November 2015, it was announced that Kevin Spacey had been cast as a veteran criminal and the boss of the crew. In December 2015, Eiza González joined the film to play one of the bank robbers. Principal photography began on February 2016, and concluded in May, filming took place in Atlanta, Georgia. In the same month, Jon Bernthal was cast as Griff, another one of the gang. Wright enlisted choreographer Ryan Heffington to sync the actors' timing and movements with the soundtrack. Wright revealed that there was little to no CGI or green screen used to film the car chase sequences. The driving is all practically done. Both Elgort and Hamm received a month of driving training to prepare for the extensive and elaborate chase scenes in the movie.

The film stars Elgort, Spacey, James, González, Hamm, Bernthal, and Foxx. The cast gave magnetic performances that were perfectly in sync with the eye-popping visual and show-stopping soundtrack. However, the performances, especially Elgort's and James', were not without its flaws. Elgort lacked the inner conflict, whilst James came across as too perfect and innocent.

Its script may not be as dazzling as its eye-popping visuals and show-stopping soundtrack, but Baby Driver is fast, fresh, funny, inventive, and unique. However, at times, it becomes a fatal case of flash over substance. Pretty great flash, though. It is a great action crime caper with an interesting look at romance and criminals; the humorous tone of the film masks a much darker look at romance.

Simon says Baby Driver receives:

Also, see my review for The World's End.

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