This one I recommend.

One of the best songs of the year.

Edgar Wright‘s Baby Driver is one of those films that make me sad that not everyone who goes to see movies thinks about how the films were made. Here is an action comedy where every chase, fight, and the occasional other scene is nigh perfectly synchronized with the songs playing in the main character’s headphones – even sometimes matching objects/sounds on-screen with the lyrics/instruments heard and including the ones done in long, uninterrupted takes. To most people, I’m suspicious all they saw was “a pretty cool and funny action movie”.

“Baby. B-A-B-Y.”

And don’t get me wrong, this is a hilarious and pumping movie. But the way it is crafted, staged, and edited is what sets this one apart. It took Sweden a while to start showing it, but it was well worth the wait and instead of watching it at the local cinema, my brothers, dad, and I opted for a limited screening at our town’s cultural center – which is considerably cheaper, but it also lets you enjoy dinner and a drink before the show so I guess it evens out.

Ansel Elgort plays Baby, a getaway driver working for various crews under the command of “Doc” (Kevin Spacey). Baby suffers from tinnitus, which he drowns out by constantly listening to his iPod, the tunes of which get him pumped for his missions and are often “in tune” with his life itself. He is an orphan, living with and caring for his deaf-mute foster father (CJ Jones), who bonds with a cute waitress named Debora (Lily James) over their shared passion for music. He produces some tracks of his own as well, mainly by recording conversations on tape and re-mixing them at home. Why he knowingly chooses to do this during secret meetnings with criminals is debatable, but I don’t think this is the kind of movie for that kind of question.

The criminals Baby works for make up for a marvelous supporting cast. In addition to the aforemention Spacey, there is Jon Hamm as the charming “Buddy”, Eiza González as Buddy’s aptly named “Darling”, and Jamie Foxx as the obnoxious “Bats”. Also look out for minor roles in the form of a Flea cameo and Jon Bernthal as a character named Griff. The fact that the last time I visited the cultural center was for the Back to the Future 2015 screening is starting to seem less and less like a coincidence.

The soundtrack is composed of “killer tracks” from all sorts of genres and artists, and the choices are significant to the events of the film. It is obvious that Edgar Wright wasn’t just picking recognizable songs at random, shuffling through Spotify until something catchy came up (in fact, I’m told he essentially wrote the script around the track listing). There is great care behind the decisions and I’ve come to expect such effort from Wright by now. He has made a film that cries out to be rewatched, so that you may catch up on some of the touches you missed.

Ignoring all that, Baby Driver is still a great achievment in not-too-predictable storytelling and exceptional stunt driving. I also found that the romance between Baby and Debora gave us some of the most believable chemistry of at least this year. If you took issue with the leads in La La Land (as I’ve gathered many viewers did), then here’s another chance to smile as two people are drawn together by the music.

What the film suffers from are a few clichés that aren’t hidden by the unique presentation, and its ending struck me as somewhat “indecisive”, let’s say. I also questioned some of Baby’s decisions with regards to his supposed attempts to keep his loved ones safe, but this is hardly a huge bother.

I’ve heard people compare the film to Drive as combined with Sound of Noise, and indeed, it’s all that and more. It is a superbly crafted, cleverly written, well-coordinated and flawlessly cast film that feels both modern and old-school – due in no small parts to its soundtrack. Something this smart and original was undoubtedly the perfect film to end on before I move on to write about The Emoji Movie.

Down below is my rating and a trailer. My advice would be seeing the film without watching any previews but if you’ve come this far in the review, maybe you know too much already. I don’t know.

4.5/5 whatever

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