Whereas Wright’s previous pictures had a precision of zippy editing and tight shots, Baby Driver has a fresh groove all its own. Every character comes with a wit and charm all their own, from Baby’s deaf and elderly roommate to the easily-peeved diner manager. Every action-packed chase and gunfight is brimming with precision and grit, keeping the stunts fast yet decipherable. Every song presented on the soundtrack comes with more of a rhythm than a flavor, where every step and gunshot is synchronized to the beats, making the music as much a character in the picture as it is a lifeforce to Baby’s soul. It’s amazing enough to watch a final duel of cars to the tune of Queen, but even more grand when punctuating every tire-spinning, gun-firing shot.
There’s such an intense grip on the eyes and ears with Edgar Wright’s picture that you’d have to actively try not to be won over by its genre bending excitement. There’s a sweetness to how Baby gushes over music and dreams of the perfect getaway. There’s a dark hilarity in the criminals will converse and bicker with one another in dangerous situations (“Don’t you quote Monsters, Inc. on me!”). The car chases and shootouts have such originality and expertise placed in their choreography that they’ll be etched in my brain forever.
It’s been a long time since the last Edgar Wright movie graced the screen (The World’s End, 2013) and his return showcases how this director hasn’t lost his touch by the slightest ounce. Whereas other films seem to lose their way as they go on, Baby Driver grabs our hand and forces us to take its pulse. And, wow, is it beating loud!