Movie: Baby Driver
My Rating: 4 stars
I think a lot of people didn’t know quite how to feel about this movie. Because, it really is a strange beast. It’s a story about a surprisingly young getaway driver for bank heists—Baby. He’s an eccentric kid—never talking, an exceptionally precise driver, and always listening to music in his headphones. We get to see the getaway sequences from his point of view, as if they’re choreographed to the tunes he’s listened to. It’s pretty cool. But this movie is still different from your typical heist flick.
It’s got all the trappings of a typical heist film. But, then it’s also highly stylized and composed. It’s not a combination we’ve been conditioned to expect. These days, heist movies are either big budget, action flicks, with all the fights and explosions. You can split that category down into films that take themselves very seriously, and ones that are more tongue-in-cheek. Then there’s your sparse, spare, indie films that are usually pretty gritty and brutal. But, this movie was a mix of stylishly choreographed action sequences, and nostalgic stylized charm. Almost all the dialogue feels like it’s a tribute to the heist genre (which may sound a little odd, since this is, itself, a heist film). But, it works. It makes you reflect on what you’re watching. And, the effect felt new and fresh to me.
Of course, the main device in the film is the music. Baby seems half checked out of life. He never seems to be paying much attention to where he is, who he’s with, or what’s going on around him. He’s always only listening to his music. And, we’re right there, listening alongside him. But, Baby has laser-like focus when he’s driving. And, the music is the complete focus of these scenes. I love being transported to the kind of fantasy world that good choreography can create. I think some of this film’s detractors were just a little bit confused by the fantasy. But as long as you don’t go into this movie expecting something very specific, I think there’s a lot to like about it. I do recommend this movie. It’s got a little bit in it for everyone. There’s excitement, action sequences, beautiful choreography, narrative intrigue, a bit of romance. Of course, this is a movie about violent crime, so there is a fair amount of violence. So that might keep a few people away. But overall, It’s a good time.