Look, Baby Driver isn’t for everyone, ok? It certainly wasn’t for me.
(super mild spoilers ahead but no direct plot points, just vague exclamations)
This is the thing, if you like Edgar Wright movies (the director/writer dude) then there’s a good chance that you will like this one too. He’s the guy who’s behind Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which I LOVED. He also co-wrote The Adventures of Tintin in 211 for Steven Spielberg, which I also kinda liked, and got a writing credit for Ant Man, even though he didn’t stay through the process and people re-wrote the script after him and I enjoyed Ant Man, Paul Rudd bias aside (who am I kidding. No bias aside. He’s Paul Rudd. #Clueless)
Baby Driver is about a kid who is a great driver and is being used by a kingin to drive getaway cars from his heists, to pay back a debt he knows. Pretty normal, dare I say, cliched, story. They throw in a little supposed colour to the character, even though his special talent makes absolutely no sense (felt a little Tarantino-like, actually) – he’s always listening to (really good) music, which makes for a great soundtrack. He thinks he can dance. He has an adoptive father who is mute and thus he speaks sign language. And so on and so forth. Unfortunately, the colour didn’t stick, in my opinion.
The movie goes into a tail spin when he meets a girl and wants to leave behind his life of crime to meet her. Trust me, that’s not a spoiler – it’s very much that type of predictable movie. They fall in love in 3 seconds after 2 words of interaction and watching it feels like having eaten too much candy floss. However (TEREN) paying your debts doesn’t mean you can just walk out, you know. SURPRISE!
The first half was annoying to me, and the second half got only slightly better. I’m sure you can predict – like I could – what happens next when he tries to get away from the job but gets convinced to do One Last Heist.
It wasn’t even just the lack of colour that upset me. It was that I didn’t buy more than half the acting. Maybe it is tainted by the fact that all I have seen Ansel in is The Fault in our Stars (ok, I didn’t watch that, I just read the book) and the Divergent movies (it’s a shrug from me) and so I don’t feel his embodiment of the role of a gangly gifted and quietly mysterious but witty man-boy with a wannabe cool walk. (The irony here, of course, is that he is actually a singer – and DJ! – .) Jon Hamm is good in this, which isn’t hard for him – he’s basically Don Draper (smart, suave and uncaring) but a lot more talkative (if anything, Hamm in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is an interesting stray from his usual). But Jamie Foxx is annoying – and unnecessary – as fuck. Kevin Spacey is playing a caricature, which can be done right, but in this, just feels very campy, a la Penguin from Batman Returns (KWANZA THAT SCENE AT THE END. WTF. WHAT THE ACTUAL F.). I’m sorry guys! (also…Darling. Shooting at people indiscriminately who have guns with no protection. How the hell did they become gangsters???)
Lily James, also, is good in this, a big step up from Cinderella (gag. So OVER Disney remakes, and will still watch them all), in spite of odd pacing and problematic timing (people, how is it that danger and blood splattered everywhere make movie people want to suck face? Ama it’s because I’ve never been a secret agent/criminal (here’s looking at you in Spectre, Bond. rolls eyes)). But at the end of the movie I just felt…well…