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Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver”

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In “Baby Driver” director Edgar Wright gave the audience a good time. With an all star cast (featuring Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Ansel Elgort, and Eliza Gonzalez) and almost two hours of non-stop action, what’s not to love?

Warning, spoilers ahead:

The idea behind “Baby Driver” is a good one, especially for fans of practical effects. Wright estimated that about 95 percent of his stunts were shot with practical effects instead of with computer-generated images (CGI). For example, the opening car chase was perfectly synced to the song “Bellbottoms” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Every pick up or drop in the song went along with a turn; every explosive beat went along with an explosion. This was all set up six years before the movie came out. “The first thing I did when I was writing back in 2010 was start plotting out the car chase to the track, literally mapping out and using the music as the guideline,” Wright said. The chase was shot with mostly practical effects as Baby, the main character, flew through the streets of Atlanta with his crew.

The movie follows Elgort’s character, Baby, a driver who gets caught up in a life of crime after a bad deal with the crime boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey). He’s a great driver, who moves to the beat of every song he is constantly listening to. He listens to music throughout the movie, because he was in a car crash as a kid that killed his parents and gave him a condition called tinnitus. Tinnitus causes people to hear an annoying ringing when there is no sound, which Baby only soothes by putting his earbuds in and listening to music. After finishing another one of Doc’s meticulous thefts, Baby walks into a diner and meets Deborah (Lily James), whom he falls in love with. Baby leaves his life of crime for a little while because he repaid his debt to Doc, but Doc finds Baby and Deborah on a date, and threatened Deborah’s life if Baby didn’t do one last heist.

Deborah and Baby’s blind caretaker, Joe (CJ Jones), convince Baby to leave Atlanta after his heist to get away from his life of crime. The crew is comprised of the carefree Buddy (Jon Hamm), his giddy wife Darling (Eliza Gonzalez), and the deranged Bats (Jamie Foxx). The heist takes a dangerous turn when Bats kills a security guard at the post office that they are stealing gold from, and Baby refuses to drive away. Bats hits Baby, grabs the wheel, and forces Baby to drive, but he drives right into rebar, which impales and kills Bats. Baby, Buddy, and Darling try to escape on foot, but Darling is shot and killed, which leads Buddy on a rampage determined to kill Baby. Baby steals a car and picks up Deborah in an attempt to leave the city, and tries to go to Doc’s headquarters to steal some money. Doc’s there, but he gives them money anyway, saying that he was also in love once. Buddy ambushes them as soon as they walk into the parking structure connected to the headquarters, and Buddy catches Baby. Before Buddy can kill Baby, however, Deborah hits and disarms him with a crowbar, and Baby shoots and kills him. On their way out of Atlanta, Baby and Deborah encounter a police roadblock, where Baby surrenders. He is convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but in the epilogue, is released on parole after five years, where he goes back to Deborah, and they kiss.
“Baby Driver” is an entertaining movie, but I have many grievances with it. The first issue I have with it is the music playing continuously throughout the movie. There are only a few moments in the entire runtime of the film that the playlist is not playing in the background. The issue I have isn’t with the quality of the music, but the quantity. There was never a moment of quiet, even in the most emotional scenes, which left me feeling sort of exhausted after watching the movie.

Another problem I had was the romance between Baby and Deborah. It’s supposed to be love at first sight, which I understand is already an unrealistic movie trope, but the two characters are so unbelievably in love with each other after the first day of meeting each other that I was actively rooting against them. I just don’t believe that a rational human being would leave the city with a guy she just met a few weeks prior.

The last issue is a bit nitpicky, but Baby killed multiple people in his attempt to get away from Buddy, participated willingly in many organized heists over the years, and stole a lot of cars. He was only in prison for five years, after receiving a sentence for twenty-five. Usually, one murder can get up to life in prison-in order to give the audience a happy ending-Baby was only in prison for about five years.

Overall, “Baby Driver” is a good-but not great-movie. It is entertaining in the beginning, but gets old fast. I would recommend this movie to anyone who really likes action movies and music from the 1970s to 1990s, but not really to anyone else.

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