Baby Driver SXSW Review: Action-Packed, Thrilling & Totally Unique
There are still a lot of us who wished Edgar Wright had been able to work things out with Marvel and do Ant-Man the way he wanted to do it. I no longer wish that. Why, you might ask would a Marvel loving man who has adored just about everything Edgar Wright has ever done say something so seemingly blasphemous? Because he got to make Baby Driver and oh man, it is so crazy good.
TriStar Pictures' Baby Driver centers on a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who goes by the name of Baby. He relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best at what he does; which is driving fast in high-pressure situations. Things get dicey after he is coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey). As one might expect in a movie about crime, things don't go as planned and that has baby running for his life and trying to protect the ones he loves.
Up to this point in his career, at least when it comes to directing movies, Edgar Wright has mostly been known for making comedies. Baby Driver definitely has its fair share of laughs, but make no mistake; this is like nothing we have ever seen from him before. That said, this is very definitively an Edgar Wright movie. His stamps are all over this thing. This movie is action-packed, thrilling, totally unique and flat out entertaining from start to finish. Not that anyone was worried about a movie from Edgar Wright not being entertaining, but rest assured, he does not need to be working in the world of comedy to turn out something truly brilliant. He has proved that with Baby Driver.
Outside of having a great director behind the camera, the cast that was assembled for this movie is flat out brilliant. Ansel Elgort bares the bulk of the bulk of the responsibility as Baby and he knocks it out of the park. Most people probably know him as the charming sick kid from The Fault in Our Stars. That movie made it clear he can act. Baby Driver makes it clear this dude is a bonafide movie star. He has so much charisma that at times, he outshines Jon Hamm (who is also great and his usual amount of way too handsome), Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey, who I might add both have Oscars somewhere in their big fancy houses that they paid for by being really good at acting. And let me be clear, all of them our crazy good in this movie as well. It is so great to see Jon Hamm do something so different. Lily James also is totally perfect as Deborah, Baby's love interest. Most of us may know her as Cinderella but again, this is something way out of the ordinary for her in the best way. Jon Bernthal and Eiza Gonzalez round out this cast perfectly and make it so there is hardly ever a dull moment in this movie.
What is perhaps most impressive about Baby Driver is that it is so many things all at the same time and it does all of them so well it is almost hard to believe. There are outstanding car chases that would lead us to believe Edgar Wright could probably direct a Fast & Furious movie. There is such a compelling love story that I kind of want to see him tackle a romantic comedy right now. Also, this movie borders on being some kind of pseudo musical, even though hardly anyone sings more than a few words. But music plays an incredibly important role in this movie. It is the foundation. It is the bedrock. It really is a charatcer in the movie. A perfectly crafted character. Also, you'll probably want Edgar Wright to start managing your playlists from now on. The point is, this movie is a lot of things and not one of those things suffers.
Baby Driver is the kind of movie that will make you laugh. It will make you gasp. Gosh darn it, the movie may even make you cry. It is also the kind of movie that probably will deserve some awards recognition come next year's Oscars, even though it is certainly not the type of movie, at least not historically, that the Academy acknowledges. That is the real crime here. It may be hard to believe, but Edgar Wright may have outdone himself this time around. Objectively, this may be his best movie to date and I am aware just how insane that may sound. I encourage you to see it the second you can. This is a must see, plain and simple.