Every now and then when I revisit a film I enjoyed on my first viewing, it just doesn’t hold up for me. Maybe I’ll find some flaws in it, maybe something I liked at first just comes off as corny a second time. Whatever the cause it’s never a good time when that happens. That’s why I’m very thankful that Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver is still fantastic upon my second viewing.
When I first saw Baby Driver in theaters it was mainly because of the trailers and my fanboying of Jon Hamm after his performance in Mad Men. Watching the film though, I was stricken by how competent a lead Ansel Elgort was as Baby. I’d never heard of him before but he played the role very well. Jamie Foxx, who I was never a fan of, was absolutely hilarious in his role as Bats and had a ton of chemistry with Jon Hamm.
The actors were phenomenal in their respective roles, but this film really excels in its sound design. The soundtrack was killer, absolutely killer. And the way it syncs up with some action scenes was just mindblowing. Take the first shootout bank robbery scene; the gunfire syncs up perfectly with the music playing. This happens again during the shootout after the failed post-office heist. It’s something you don’t see in a lot of films, and it may come off as lame to some, but I thought it was an awesome design choice by director Edgar Wright.
The film also had some fantastic cinematography and and camera work. This can be seen in several scenes, like the aforementioned gun fight scenes. But I think the greatest display of this is, in my opinion, the opening credits shot which follows Baby as he picks up coffee. It’s such a simple scene to set up the film, but the camera work and the way it follows around Baby really makes it shine. Just a great design choice.
If I have any criticisms of this film, it has to be the love story between Baby and Debora. It’s a very cute story, don’t get me wrong, it just feels so forced. Like it was just thrown in to add another layer to Baby outside of his work, when he already had plenty of established personality quirks. Debora as a character was also very 2-dimensional, in a film full of characters with their own dreams, desires, and quirks. That’s not to say I’m against a love story in a film like this, just that it could’ve been done better.
All that said, I love this film. It’s not my favorite film of 2017, but it’s definitely up there. It takes some risks with cinematography and music, but I think it excels marvelously. The action is exciting and isn’t over used. The characters are fun and believable. It gets compared to Nicolas Refn’s Drive a lot, but I just don’t see it myself. It’s its own film with its own story, and I can’t recommend it enough.
I give Baby Driver a 4/5.