Edgar Wright's BABY DRIVER
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
"Was he slow?"
I give all the stereotypical characters and hackneyed "one last job" plot elements of BABY DRIVER a complete pass, I enjoyed this movie so much.
It's the best song compilation I've seen in years. It incorporates an amazing variety of music styles as we move from song to song and scene to scene.
The synchronization of music with action is simultaneously cheesy and masterful. Watching Kevin Spacey count out stacks of bills to a synchronized beat makes you forget all about Frank Underwood.
Another pleasure is watching young driver "Baby" create his mixtapes using an amalgamation of antiquated audio recording technologies. 80 column cards with a magnetic stripe being used to record and playback audio snippets??? I would not have been surprised to see some old red Dictaphone Memobelts stacked somewhere in Baby's apartment!
The story? Sort of a snoozefest. Phenomenally skilled young driver ("Baby") tries to break away from driving the getaway car for heists planned by an evil criminal genius. He falls in love with a Sweet Young Thing, flirts with freedom, then gets pulled back in for "one last job." Synchronized music, violence, and car chases follow him all along the way.
What sets this movie apart is the masterful editing of music and action, even when Baby is out of his car and just walking to get coffee. Even minor sounds and objects in motion are synchronized with the beat of the music Baby listens to via one of his many mood-synchronized (and obsolete) iPods.
This synchronization isn't just a gimmick. The entire movie is like this. The editing (IMDb credits Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss) integrates characters, dialogue, and flowing action to elevate it all far above most lavishly overproduced music videos.
The movie is not perfect. Character and plot elements are at times unoriginal or even nonsensical. Especially towards the end you may find yourself rolling your eyes a bit.
But I didn't care. It's a fun film you can tap your toes to while munching popcorn -- perfect summer fare!
Review copyright (c) 2017 by Dennis D. McDonald. For aNewDomain's updated version of this review go here.