SXSW: Baby Driver

Is this the absolute coolest movie ever?

Honestly, I think I’d pay my $12 just to see that opening scene again.

Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver, the best in the biz despite his young age, according to his boss, Doc (Kevin Spacey). But Baby has a glitch: he wears ear buds constantly to fight tinnitus. So to him, the whole world is a soundtrack. And you’re about to enter his world.

Doc never works with the same crew twice, so we see a rotation of criminals including MV5BMzk0NzMyNzcyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTYwNDU5MDI@._V1_Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), Griff (Jon Bernthal), Buddy (Jon Hamm), and my personal favourite, Bats (Jamie Foxx), personal motto: “I’m the one with mental problems in the group. Position taken.” GUYS, HE’S NOT KIDDING.

But don’t get attached to any of those fellows. This is Baby’s movie. He’s being coerced into this life of crime, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t good at it. He is, however, trying to get out, and nothing is as inspiring as the love of a good woman. So when Deborah (Lily James) soft shoes into his life, he’s got a boner for the open road. But wait – you didn’t think getting out would be that easy, did you?

This is a film by Edgar Wright, whom I love, unreservedly. This is a very different sort of film from him, but he’s already thrust himself to the top of the game. When you catch your breath at the end of the film, you’ll have to answer me truly: have you ever seen action to equal it? Ansel Elgort’s character Baby is obsessed with two things: music, and cars. And so is the film; car chases and music both turned WAY up to 11. Anything that gets between them is incidental.

MV5BMTEyMzQxMTI0ODZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDQ2MDQ1OTAy._V1_Wright is a phenomenal writer, and Baby Driver is just as quippy and quotable as any other in his oeuvre. The music jangles, sometimes wildly incongruous to what’s developing on screen, sometimes deliciously ironic, but it stitches the film together between Wright’s explosive action sequences. Wright’s films are always kinetic. His own exuberance for film making comes across on the screen, is barely contained by it, in fact.

If Ryan Gosling from La La Land fucked Ryan Gosling from Drive, Baby Driver is what you’d get. On paper, this isn’t the kind of movie I normally care about, or for, but on the screen it sang to me, I fuck-yeahed in the dark of the theatre, and I can’t wait until August when I can see it again. [LUCKY US, THE RELEASE GOT MOVED UP TO JUNE 28 DUE TO THE WELL-DESERVED ACCLAIM THIS GOT AT SXSW!]

 

 

 

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Incidentally, I have a mini poster signed by Edgar Wright himself. If you’re interested in winning it, Follow us on Twitter (@AssholeMovies), and retweet the relevant post. Comments here are worth extra entries. Good luck! [THIS IS LONG GONE (CONGRATS TO THE WINNER) BUT FEEL FREE TO RETWEET ALL OUR POSTS OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF YOUR HEART.]

 

 

Also: super DUPER bonus: check out the comments section for ROBERT RODRIGUEZ doing a Q&A with Edgar Wright and stars Eiza Gonzalez, Ansel Elgort & Jon Hamm.

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46 thoughts on “SXSW: Baby Driver

  1. Sean

    The opening chase may be the best ever recorded on film. It’s amazing. The others in the movie (and there are several) are almost as good – they are only lesser because they are more messy (intentionally so, as Edgar Wright stated in the Q&A, as things get worse and worse for Baby). And there’s something magical about the way the music is tied into everything.

    This will be one of the best action films to come out in 2017, if not THE best. It should be a lock for a best picture nomination too. I loved every minute.

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      1. Sean

        I’m calling it. It deserves one. It’s very Mad Max-ish for me – it’s not your typical Oscar nominee but the writing, practical effects and direction are groundbreaking and deserve to be recognized.

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  2. Susan Leighton

    I cannot wait to see Baby Driver. The trailer had me amped up. Good music, awesome powerslides, what more could a girl ask for? Edgar Wright is the director (I adore him too) plus a talented cast. Ansel had me with “The Fault in Our Stars.” Great review, Jay!

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    1. Jay Post author

      Yeah, I admit I liked him in that too. He’s well-cast here.
      The trailer doesn’t even do it justice. It’s so cool in the execution!
      And Wright keeps it funny too.

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  3. John Charet

    Great post 🙂 I am so excited to see this when it opens in my area in June of this year. I am a huge fan of director/writer Edgar Wright. Speaking of which, remember Scott Pilgrim vs. The World? That was awesome and unique. But then again, every film in his filmography are masterpieces. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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  4. J.

    Well, there you go then! Another that I wasn’t aware of (just a wee bit out of touch). Expecting good things, though… Mr Wright rarely puts a foot wrong.

    Always good to have a proper good car chase, too.

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  7. tarmac492

    Great review. I have to admit I am not a huge Edgar Wright fan(ducks objects thrown at him by film geeks everywhere), but this sounds like it is right up my alley. This is getting great write ups, particularly Fox. Will check this out.

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  8. Ocean Bream

    I usually hate action movies like Fast and Furious etc but this, this was a piece of art. I felt it in my bones and in my toes because they were dancing along to the beat the entire time. I loved the opening scene, and the smooth sailing sequence that followed Baby to the coffee shop. The plot wasn’t outstanding, but the film was made so beautifully that I was just watching for the pure stunning beauty of it.

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