Written by / 7/11/2017 / No comments / , , , , ,

EDGAR WRIGHT'S TARANTINOESQUE THRILLRIDE 'BABY DRIVER'

Retro Sparse poster for Baby Driver sans the title YEAR: 2017
BABY DRIVER is part RESERVOIR DOGS in storyline and characters, and nearly all Quentin Tarantino in style, substance and the super-hip hybrid of classic rock R&B, fast-paced humor and tons of bloodshed...

Of course Edgar Wright isn't without his own zingy style seen in cult favorites SHAWN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ, THE WORLD'S END: And here he's one-upped Tarantino's recent string of dull historical revenge sagas with an edgy urban precision combining music and the tribal beat of frantic self defense: with either pool sticks or in this case, gunfire. Making BABY DRIVER a metronomic, multi-heist action flick that also borrows from Walter Hill's THE DRIVER since the main character is quiet, brooding and much different than the brash thugs he provides an apt getaway for; each heist is viewed by only his perspective...

ModernCurveScore: ****
At first, young actor Ansel Elgort comes across as an awkward rubber ducky swimming in a pool of sharks, and not just for the story's sake.  But eventually all those distracting quirks and habits become as legitimately part of the character and story as the jobs provided by Kevin Spacey's crime boss intensify. Ansel's Baby, with a ringing in his ear from a tragic car accident during his youth, has to listen to music, all the time. The perfect excuse for an omnipresent soundtrack without being a trendy gimmick: every tune matters...

Earbud Poster
And the people matter too, each with his and her power and vulnerability. Jamie Foxx's Bats is the lethal wildcard (replacing one of the main actors who all but vanishes for no apparent reason) with an unpredictable, spontaneous edge, adding to Baby's obstacle in keeping his cute waitress girlfriend alive while moving the story along at an ultra face pace... 

Which it does without many breaks, and every twist and turn is connected to the overall theme of working for crime and then having to survive it...

Herein Edgar Wright has created an exciting rollercoaster that puts the action up front but not without the characters literally driving it (including Jon Hamm, whose tough, swarthy presence seems a waste till the 11th hour). Sure there's an overdose of madcap ultra-violence, not all the dark comedy works, the romance gets corny and sometimes the rambling dialogue becomes tiresome. But as a whole, BABY DRIVER is a roaring car chase flick that seems more old school stunt coordinated than modern day computer animated.  
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