movie film review | chris tookey

Baby Driver

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  Baby Driver Review
Tookey's Rating
3 /10
Average Rating
7.97 /10
Ansel Elgort , C.J. Jones, Eiza Gonzalez
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Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright

Released: 2017
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 112

Baby (Ansel Esgort) works for crime boss Doc (Kevin Spacey), who uses him as the getaway driver for various heists (involving colourful, semi-comical characters played by Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm and Jon Bernthal). Baby wishes to escape from Docís control, but that ainít easy.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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This cinematic love poem to car chases and rock music is a crime caper that tries way, way too hard to be cool. Itís steeped in so many trashy movies that it was bound to appeal to critics who have seen those movies too, and would desperately like to think they are art, rather than trash.

The central character, Baby, spends most of the time listening to pop music through headphones, but he is recognizably modelled on Tony Manero, the guy John Travolta played so memorably in Saturday Night Fever. The trouble is that, beneath the cool facade, Baby is surly, unengaging and dull. He doesnít even have much of a back story, to excuse him. Wright tells us about his parents dying in a car crash when he was a child, but seemingly canít see any conflict between this and our hero turning into a getaway driver, recklessly endangering his own and everyone elseís lives as soon as he gets behind the wheel. Heís a walking example of product placement, with that ever-present Ipod; but somehow that didnít make me like him. Still less did it lead me to empathise with him.

Everything about the film feels second hand. At one point, Edgar Wright makes a joke out of this. ďYou and I are a team,Ē Baby tells Doc. ďDonít feed me any more lines from Monsters, Inc. It pisses me off,Ē Doc replies. The deja vu visuals and verbal cliches pissed me off too.

Worst of all, thereís a dreary, derivative love story about our getaway driver encountering a waitress (Lily James) who sees him as her way to escape. She says her dream is to ďhead west on 20, in a car I canít afford, with a plan I donít have.Ē Yes, their dialogue is that atrocious.

Virtually all the critics raved, but Baby Driver struck me as yet another third-rate, wannabe Tarantino movie, poorly plotted, wildly overlong and without any non-commercial reason to exist. Edgar Wright began his career poking fun at movie cliches in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Here, he just recycles other peopleís cliches, non-ironically, in the mistaken belief that they are charming. Evidently, some people found Baby Driver less fatuous and much more entertaining than I did; but that may be because they havenít seen this kind of movie as often as I have.

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