Baby Driver (2017)


There’s plenty bad about this: for around the first hour most of the action feels like an advert (either for cars or coffee shops or an app or something – there was an Uber advert before the film which featured some worryingly similar choreography); too much of the car chase footage is internal, which is less exciting and confuses perspective; Ansel Elgort is MDF; Jamie Foxx is given too many lines, which deflates any menace in his performance; Kevin Spacey looks tired; the extended hog-roast/weapon-stash metaphor sucks; the ending sucks. On the positive side some of the choreography in the longer shots is great (horribly torn on the credits because it flows great but its far too reminiscent of Toby “Tugboat” Maguire’s street dance); the music usually stands up and keeps momentum; John Hamm has a Sin City cartoonish menace; there are a couple of surprises. Its greatest asset is Edgar Wright and his own enthusiasm, which is kind of diffused throughout the film and becomes infectious when BD starts going up the gears after the foot-chase scene. It’s hard not to smile when you’re watching someone else have so much fun.

So yeah, there’s plenty bad about this. Totting it up in retrospect, it doesn’t look great (I think a lot of critics have been giving it an easy ride because of a sort of backdoor Tarantino effect: EW is an anthologist). But a slight surprised satisfaction still pushed through the garbled ending and out of the cinema. I won’t be watching it again (and I’m worried about returning to Scott Pilgrim) but I hope lots of people love it.



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