Let me set the scene: three people approach a bank with guns and masks while a young man sits behind the wheel of a car, innocently listening to music. And he's got great taste in music, I tell you that! He starts singing along, tapping the wheel, as we all do. But then he starts going overboard, banging on the outside of the car and making a huge fuss about how much he is loving his music all the while grimacing in the most arrogant cocky way that only a sure as heck, arrogant, cocky kind of late teen/early twenties male can do. I despise this person immediately. I want him to shut up and stop what he's doing, thinking he's the king of the world without the charm of a young DiCaprio. And I usually love Ansel Elgort. But this introduction to Baby made it really hard. I like self-assured, confident people as much as the next person, but I despise arrogance. I. Cant. Stand. It. Even if the guy wasn't supposed to be an inconspicuous getaway driver - which he is spectacularly failing at - this display of "I'm the greatest person in the universe" isn't endearing at all. At least in my book. Thankfully our friendly neighbourhood (not as much friendly as violent) bank robbers don't take long and we're off on our first car chase. And this is where Baby Driver truly shines.
Director Edward Wright decided to time all action sequences to the music Baby is listening to. It is absolutely brilliant! The choreography in conjunction with the earworm-worthy music makes for a mesmerising style that almost makes 'Baby Driver' into an action musical of sorts. The action pieces are fantastic. The chase sequences are fast, precise, insane and utterly exhilarating. And the film doesn't stop there. Plenty of non driving action scenes appear in the second half of the film, not any less impressive than their car chase big brothers. Wright knows how to give us shiny visuals combined with awesome soundtracks and 'Baby Driver' is no different. It looks great, it sounds even better. If only it had established a likeable protagonist I would have loved this film.
We have pretty much all ingredients of your usual superhero origin story in 'Baby Driver'. Little boy witnesses his parents death in a car accident, gets an ailment (tinnitus) which somehow turns him into a superhero as he has to listen to music constantly to drown it out, and apparently that enables him to be the world's greatest driver and parkour artiste. Unfortunately Baby never turns into the superhero he is set up to be. He is clearly uncomfortable with the violence he is being part of and when he finally springs into action it felt hollow, because he was causing as much violence, carnage and - if I'm not mistaken - death as the people he was going up against. What was his point again?
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