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Baby Driver | Average Guy Movie Review

Edgar Wright puts his own spin on the heist/getaway movie in his latest outing. Named after the song by Simon and Garfunkel, Baby Driver tells the story of a skilled getaway driver who suffers from tinnitus, to drown out this "hum in the drum", Baby (Ansel Elgort) is constantly listening to music. In fact, the whole movie is set to music, even the gunshots sync with the beat of whatever song is playing.

It took Wright 16 years to write this script, and then another 6 to bring it to the big screen. But it's a movie that's well worth the wait! The opening chase alone is incredibly fun to watch, yet intelligent and tense as well. I wouldn't blame someone for thinking there's nothing new to do with a car chase, but I'd definitely encourage them to watch Baby Driver before they make up their mind. Especially considering all of the driving was done practically, no CGI or green screen here. Elgort was allowed to do some of the driving and what he couldn't or wasn't allowed to do was achieved using a stunt driver and a special rig that allowed the actors to be in the car. Even Wright himself was along for the ride because he was worried about being in a follow car and losing comms with the actors. Jon Hamm joked he had to perform while looking at a "sunburnt muppet" flopping about.

With a soundtrack that'll rival Guardians of the Galaxy, Baby Driver quite literally ticks along to the music. Baby has different iPods for different moods. Whatever he's listening to dictates the tempo of the scene. It's brilliant how the music influences his interaction with the outside world, like watching him dance down the street to get coffee. There's a great scene where Baby discusses Queen's Brighton Rock with Buddy (Jon Hamm), much to the annoyance of Bats (Jamie Foxx). Wright first experimented with the concept of timing action to music when he directed the music video to Mint Royale's 'Blue Song', in which Noel Fielding plays a getaway driver who listens to music. The amount of work that was put in to achieving this synchronisation of movie and soundtrack shows. I've never seen anything quite like it and have to admit to being quite sceptical when I first read about it. But the work definitely pays off, Wright has not only put together a great movie and a great soundtrack, he's put a great movie and a great soundtrack together (see what I did there?). The synchronisation is noticeable, and at times will probably make you laugh, yet it's never a distraction.

If there's one thing Wright is good at - as well as adding a quirk or two to established genres - it's casting. From the Cornetto trilogy to Scott Pilgrim, Wright has always put together a great cast. Baby Driver is no different! After working with some interesting criminals including Doc (Kevin Spacey), Darling (Eiza Gonzalez) and Griff (Jon Bernthal), Baby's world is rocked when he meets the music loving Debra (Lily James). Debra is Baby's light at the end of the tunnel, his view of a life without crime. Elgort and James are perfect together, it's easy to believe they're a couple. It's just a shame that Debra isn't given a lot to do. 

Despite adhering to the one last job storyline, where our hero meets the girl, tries to get out of the criminal life and is dragged back in for one last job, Baby Driver is one of my favourite movies of this year. Edgar Wright has used this story element as a starting point and then approached it from his very unique perspective. It's a perfect combination of action and story with some brilliant characters. Timing everything to the music was a stroke of genius and the eclectic soundtrack is superb, every song was a perfect choice. This is just a really fun movie and I guarantee you'll leave the cinema with one of those great songs stuck in your head!

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