Baby Driver (2017): A Mix of La La Land, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Fast & Furious

 

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“Baby Driver” is directed by Edgar Wright, who also directed films such as “Shaun of the Dead” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” This film stars Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent), Kevin Spacey (Se7en, House of Cards), Lily James, (Cinderella (2015), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Eiza Gonzalez (Jem and the Holograms), and it even features Jon Hamm (The Town, Mad Men) along with Jamie Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained). This film is about a getaway driver named Baby, he’s forced into working for this crime boss and he goes on a mission that could possibly put him in jail.

Now before we talk about the movie itself, let’s talk about the lead actor in this movie, Ansel Elgort. Going into this movie, one of my biggest concerns happened to be how Ansel Elgort would perform in it given his role. Why? Because when I think of Ansel Elgort, action star is not the first thing that comes to mind. Granted I have seen him in “Divergent,” a movie with action in it, but he is neither the main character nor is he the most memorable character in my eyes. When it comes to Ansel Elgort, the first thing that would usually come to mind is “The Fault in Our Stars,” a romance movie which came out a few years back and has gained a following among many in the teenage girl demographic. I have not seen the movie, I’ve heard mostly positive things, but I’m not rushing to see it. How is he in this movie? Well, I’d say he was a lot better than I expected. I’m not saying Elgort was once a bad actor, I’m just saying he wasn’t necessarily an actor I expected to see in an action film like this. To me, Ansel Elgort now somewhat reminds me of Tom Cruise. You may have some of these folks’s early work which contain more of a romantic vibe, yeah, I’m sticking with romantic, in various segments such as “Risky Business” (Cruise) and “The Fault in Our Stars” (Elgort). But now Cruise, much like Elgort who is in this film, has become this action star that I want to see more of in future movies. Also, another thing that kinda makes the two resemble each other, is this…

Just, look at that! When I saw those sunglasses, I could tell these two weren’t the same person, but it might as well show the similarities between the two folks as actors. By the way, Ansel Elgort is on the left and Tom Cruise is on the right.

Speaking of actors and characters in this film, Kevin Spacey is also in this movie. Now, Kevin Spacey is one of the most revered actors of all time, so it probably wouldn’t be a surprise on how well he does in this movie in terms of his performance. I also got to give kudos to the well-written screenplay as well. Some of his lines are pretty sick and when you combine that with Kevin Spacey’s excellent acting ability, you’ve got a pretty cool character. Now that I’m thinking more about it, this somewhat reminds me of Colin Firth’s character in “Kingsman.” Also, yes, this very likely will make you forget about Kevin Spacey in “Nine Lives.” I haven’t seen that movie, but it’s a movie that came out last year and it is about a businessman that has little to no time for his family. He decides to get a cat for his daughter, because her birthday is coming up, and every year she wants a cat. So he goes to a pet store, and when Christopher Walken’s character shows up with a cat Spacey intends to give to his daughter, a strange turn of events causes Spacey’s character to be trapped inside the body of the cat. So not only does that sound stupid, but it almost sounds like a ripoff of “The Shaggy Dog.” OK, I’ll stop there.

If you notice the title of my review, I said that this film is basically a mix of “La La Land,” “Fast & Furious” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Here’s why. This film involves a main character who often listens to music, similar to Peter Quill’s character in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” although in this movie you may notice Baby using an IPod and Peter from “Guardians” using a Sony Walkman, and much like “Guardians of the Galaxy,” I would probably say a good number of people might end up buying this movie’s soundtrack. It probably won’t end up selling as many copies, but still. The film overall is an action film, much like a number of “Fast & Furious” installments, and much like “Fast & Furious” the action consists of multiple car chases and the film contains a heist. Why is it like “La La Land?” Well, there is a romance thrown in the movie as well. I wouldn’t say it was forced, sure, it’s kinda Hollywoodish, but still, I say that with the movie’s writing and characterization, it worked. The romance also felt kinda cheesy at times, but in a way, I’d say it was forgivable, because the chemistry between the characters worked in my book. In fact, this movie at times, felt like a musical. There were no original songs that were done by crowds of people or anything like that, but there were times that the characters were listening to the songs and they were singing, mainly Ansel Elgort, but I believe more than one character got involved in this. Not to mention I kinda moved my hand, head, and foot (I don’t remember if the foot thing happened, but still) to the music.

Since I recently mentioned there’s a love interest in this film, let’s talk about her. Her name is Debora and she’s played by Lily James. When she was introduced in this movie, I thought the connection between her and the lead character of Baby was kinda cute. As mentioned, the romance did feel like a somewhat fantastical Hollywood romance, although in a way, I was able to buy into it, and it didn’t really bother me. In fact, one example is when the two are talking with each other and having a conversation related to music. Yeah, they were talking about songs that have their names in it, so they’re basically referring to these as “Debora songs” and “Baby songs.” Also on a little sidenote, I would like to thank everyone behind this movie for not putting Justin Bieber’s “Baby” into the movie. I probably would have walked out if that were the case. I mean, there’s a reason why the music video for it has so many dislikes on YouTube.

Overall, the action in this movie was fun to watch. It was very well shot, much like some other parts of the movie. There were some cuts here and there, but it wasn’t all jumpcutty or anything like that, it all flowed naturally. In fact, during parts of the movie, it would take a long time for the camera to cut, and I have to say it worked. There are times when movies are like that and it ends up working, and funny enough, “La La Land,” a movie I compared this to, is one of those movies. There are a lot of great action sequences throughout the movie, and if you look above, you’ll see a Suburu car. If you go see this movie, you’ll notice that car in the opening action scene. And once again, here’s another comparison to “La La Land.” The opening sequence in “La La Land” wowed me and set a tone for what’s to come. The same can also be said in “Baby Driver.” When that first action sequence was over, it did end up giving me thrills, but it also gave me the desire to see more action. I also recently mentioned that this movie occasionally has moments that are all showcased in one very long shot. That happens not long after this first action scene, I won’t go into detail, but it did amaze me.

Also, a little fact for you, this movie also contains a little reference from the Pixar animation, “Monsters, Inc..” I’m not gonna dive into what the reference is or anything, but let’s just say, if you go see this movie, pay close attention and keep an eye out for that, because overall it gave me a laugh.

In the end, “Baby Driver” is definitely one of the most entertaining action flicks I’ve seen recently. It’s a very unique experience and had a lot of great characters, including some supporting ones I didn’t mention. However, the film does have flaws. I recently mentioned the cheesy romance, although that complaint I can forgive, and also there was one line that was uttered by Jamie Foxx’s character, Eiza Rodriguez’s character said something that made Foxx’s character say it’s almost like listening to an Oscar speech. It was almost as if Foxx was trying to be funny and the just ended up falling flat. As far as the ending goes, it is really compelling, I understood most of it, but there is one segment that I feel I need to look over. I have a feeling it can be resolved over a second watch, but this complaint still stands. But overall, I had fun watching “Baby Driver,” and I wouldn’t mind watching it again, so I’m gonna give “Baby Driver” a 9/10. This movie is not your average action film. Sure, it’s got your car chases, your gun fights, witty dialogue given on various occasions, while at times it almost reminded me of films like “Interstellar” and “Arrival,” both of which I consider to be great movies. Is this movie as good as those? No, but it doesn’t change the fact that I enjoyed this film as a whole. Thanks for reading this review, pretty soon my series of reviews related to past “Spider-Man” movies are gonna come to an end. The last movie I’m doing for this series is “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and the reason why I’m doing this is because in a week from now, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” will hit theaters everywhere, and I do plan to see that as soon as possible. Stay tuned for my “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” review, along with my “Spider-Man: Homecoming” review when I get around to it, and even more reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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