Making a good first impression is important. For example, you won’t get laid if you start the evening off by belching in front of your date. Baby Driver, the latest movie from director Edgar Wright, begins strongly enough. Just like a hot date that turns up to the restaurant in a cleavage flaunting dress, this movie wowed me with an eye-popping car chase opener. Unfortunately nothing that followed the first scene ever topped that moment of vehicular pursuit. Grabbing the audience’s attention from the offset is a good idea, but be sure to save the best for last – or else you run the risk of ending things with an anticlimactic finale.
Baby Driver stars a young getaway driver, played by Ansel Elgort, who goes by the alias Baby. The movie kicks off with a bank robbery where Baby showcases his talent for steering automobiles, as he effortlessly evades the law. One thing that stands out about the protagonist is that, during the pursuit, he is constantly listening to his iPod. Protagonists who are tied to a musical device are all the rage in Hollywood. I blame Starlord, from Guardians of the Galaxy, and his pesky Walkman. The justification for Baby’s love of tunes is that he suffers from tinnitus; so listening to songs helps him drown out the ringing in his ears.
I have to say that using a character’s hearing impairment, as an excuse to wedge the soundtrack into the movie is rather creative. Baby himself is more perceptive than he first appears and has a dorky charm going for him. The scene were he struts down the street, with an order of coffee in tow, reminds me of Peter Parker in Spider-Man 3… only less cringey. Anyways, the plot of the movie is that Baby has found love in the form of a diner waitress named Debora. Romance has convinced him to go straight, but before he can sever ties with the underworld he first has to pull off one final heist for his Mafioso employer Doc.
My rating for Baby Driver is a three out of five. I liked the movie, but out of all the Edgar Wright flicks that I have seen I would have to rank it the weakest. Although amusing at times, Baby Driver lacks the laugh out moments of something like Scott Pilgrim or Shaun of the Dead. Viewers who appreciate fast cars, whizzing through city streets, are likely to enjoy the film more than I did. The action scenes feature some very creative driving manoeuvres. When you peel away the catchy OST and slick racing however, what remains is a run of the mill story that doesn’t warrant a two-hour run time.
The acting in Baby Driver is competent, but none of the actors stood out. Doc was probably my favourite character. He’s one of those charismatic gangsters who come across as amiable, organized and professional. Friendly at first glance, but ruthless should you not ago along with his schemes. He is played by the talented Kevin Spacey, a man who can do no wrong… well apart from sexually assaulting teens. Never mind that though, because he is gay. What a novel excuse. I wonder if that would have worked during my school days? Sorry sir, I didn’t do my homework. It’s all right though because I am homosexual.