« STALKER | Main | THE B-SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN'S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY — NYFF 54 »

July 04, 2017

BABY DRIVER

Baby-driverEdgar Wright made his name co-writing and directing crowd-pleasing parody films with Simon Pegg — think “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz.” Wright goes it alone for his latest super action spree. The effect isn’t as much quirky fun as, say, “The World’s End” (Wright’s last collaboration with Pegg), but “Baby Driver” does possess the contained zippy tone of the [many] carefully curated three-minute pop songs that Wright uses to energize his car chase crime thriller with a poppy romantic underbelly.

“Baby Driver” runs on a jukebox of cool music that runs the gambit from Jonathan Richman (“Egyptian Reggae”) and The Damned (“Neat Neat Neat”) to R&B shag tunes from the likes of  The Commodores (“Easy”) and Barry White (“Never, Never Gone Give Ya Up”). The soundtrack may be better than the movie. Sure, there are some exciting chase sequences, but even those get old.

The film’s pacing goes slack during a few too many heist planning meetings, led by Kevin Spacey’s criminal kingpin Doc. Still, newcomer Ansel Elgort smears on enough stoic charisma as the film’s title [getaway driver] character to mask at least some of the film’s unsightly nuts and bolts.

Colesmithey.com

Wright seems to be taking notes from Quentin Tarantino for his use of pop music to provide an aural bed of energy for the story to glide on. The problem is that Edgar Wright isn’t anywhere near as gifted as Tarantino when it comes to crafting plot and dialogue. Here is a fluffy little crime thriller where gunshots keep time with the music. Film editors Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss needed to take a few more passes before setting this thing free on an unsuspecting public whose patience will be tested by this film’s end. There’s a reason all those “three-minute” pop songs are so good; they seldom go over three minutes.  

Rated R. 113 mins. (C+) (Two stars — out of five / no halves)


COLE SMITHEYA small request: Help keep Cole Smithey writing reviews, creating video essays, and making podcasts. Click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon, and receive special rewards!

PATREON BUTTON

Click Here to Pledge Your Support Through Patreon

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series