“Fast and Furious” meets “La La Land”; Edgar Wright’s modern day musical is sure to grab you by the throat from the get go, pop you in the driver’s seat, and take you on a whirl wind joyride through the eyes of the loveable protagonist- all timed to the most foot tapping soundtrack.
Written, directed, and produced by 43-year-old Edgar Wright, the man himself describes the film as “kind of like a musical”, a collision of crime, action, music and sound- a hybrid of genres that leaves audiences confused yet amazed, perfect for those moments when you’re unsure of what kind of movie you feel like Netflix and chillin’ to. Wright’s deep-rooted fascination with genre films shines clear for the whole 113 minutes, with Baby Driver showcasing all your typical elements of everyone’s favorite genres.
23-year-old Ansel Elgort, the guy responsible for throbbing young hearts in the 2014’s “The Fault in Our Stars”, strikes again as the adorably cherubic protagonist- a talented and fresh faced get-away driver named “Baby”, who has entangled himself in an Atlanta crime cartel. Tune-obsessed Baby takes us on a wild ride showcasing impeccable stunt work engrossing action-inclined audiences, all timed to a first-class Steven Price soundtrack that literally fuels and drives the film. The king of the drama genre, Kevin Spacey, leads the crime cartel which consists of Mexican sex bomb, Eliza Gonzalez making her debut to American cinema, alongside Jamie Foxx who spices things up with his comedic flare. Last but not least, classic beauty Lily James graces the screen as Baby’s love interest, adding characteristic elements of romance to the film that leaves audiences feeling all gooey inside.
Wright, the Englishman best known for his comedic “Three Flavor Cornetto” film trilogy, comprising of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World’s End (2013), has explained to the world that the idea behind Baby Driver was conceived well before the makings of his successful film trilogy. In an interview with Jacob Hall from Slash Film, Wright says; “I think it came from literally visualizing the action while listening to songs. It really started when I was 21 and I had done my first movie, but I was living in London completely broke”.
The original Inspiration for the idea was the song “Bell Bottoms” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. “Bell Bottoms”, which was released in 1994 when Wright was just 20 years old, opens the film with a thrilling get-away car chase scene, set in time to the song. From this opening scene onwards, Wright continues playing with the idea of key sequences being rhythmically synchronised to music, and while there is minimal sequins and dancing, the harmony of action with sound is enough to call it an amazingly executed modern-day musical.
Long before Baby Driver, Edgar Wright test drove his concept of a music-loving get-away driver by directing a music video for the band Mint Royale in 2003. Using budding comedian Noel Fielding as the lead, the film clip was a great success, and kick started Fielding’s career as he went on to become an internationally renowned comedian, best known for “The Mighty Boosh”.
The success of the film clip also gave Edgar Wright the green light to continue building on the idea to transform it into a feature film, and not only is the final product amazing, but the tale behind its double decade-long concoction from a simple idea to a feature film, is a great message for aspiring film makers and creatives alike.
Overall, Edgar Wright’s genre blending masterpiece ticks all the boxes to make it to the top of your winter “must see” movie list. This easy watching toe tapper is sure to keep you laughing, singing, and gripping the seat from start to finish!
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