Baby Driver (2017) Review

When looking at the films of Edgar Wright, the transition from comedy to action is unbelievably clear. I mean, just look at the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy. Shaun of the Dead has some action in it, but none of it is the large explosion-y type of action. The focus in the film really is comedy. Move on to Hot Fuzz where there is a clear tone shift. Then came At World’s End which turned out to be a perfect blend of comedy and action.

Baby Driver is first and foremost an action/crime film, with comedy sprinkled in perfectly throughout. There are levels to the characters. There is a very clear style to the film, with the colors that were chosen and the editing.

Speaking of the editing, let me talk about that for a moment. Now, myself, I have always loved film editing. I find it fascinating and I enjoy doing it. So, I was freaking out in the theater with how good the video and sound editing were throughout the entire film. In recent years, there is this trend that has developed in movie trailers. The action sequences/sounds within the movie trailer, like gun shots, are paired along with the beat to a song (usually a well-known rock song). It’s supposed to give the trailer more punch. It’s supposed to really pump up the audience. This trend has become incredibly overused within film trailers. However, it has not become overused within the films themselves. You see, this film is so reliant on its music. So, it makes total sense to pair any action sequences, any action sounds, with the music itself. And, man, does it give it that extra punch.

The film, itself, is shot so astoundingly well. Sometimes, in action films, scenes can become muddled. If everything is happening too fast, then it becomes hard to follow what is going on. If the camera becomes too still, stagnant, then the scene becomes boring and no longer holds your attention. Integrating the camera seamlessly into action sequences is where real magic happens, and that’s exactly what Edgar Wright does. The camera flows with everything that happens, but it never seems intrusive. It holds where it should hold, and moves when it should move. It really is incredible to see.

It’s rare to see a film that is so reliant on its soundtrack that’s not a musical. This film, although not a musical, is very much like one, however. Sure, there’s no singing or dancing, in the traditional sense, but it is there. Each song that is played is reflective of our main character’s mood or what it is that is going on. The choreography for the fight scenes are the dance moves. The camera also acts as a dancer. The gun shots that go along so well to the lyrics or the beat are, in fact, the singing within the film. Baby Driver isn’t “in your face” about the whole thing, though. It is beautifully crafted.

Since I saw this film, I have been raving about it to everybody. It’s been in theaters for a couple of weeks now, so if you still haven’t seen it, drop everything and go. You will leave happy and counting down the days until you get to watch the film again.

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