How does a film like this get 4 or 5 stars?
'An awe-inspiring piece of filmmaking from Edgar Wright that plays out as a musical through the lens of an action thriller.' Terri White- Empire
'Will resonate most with audiences that skew young, hip, and, like its helmer and its hero (the latter played by baby-faced "The Fault in Our Stars" star Ansel Elgort), more than a little obsessive '.Peter Debruge- Variety
Well, we went to see it, and good grief... what a letdown. Like a 4th of July firework display- Baby Driver is full of artistic light, colour and very loud bangs- but in the end, all you're left with is a mind-numbing pile of toxic ash.
To begin with, the plot sounds promising. A crime lord's young getaway driver is trying to get out of his current profession, gradually working his way towards paying off a debt- to find it's not as easy as he hoped. And so we see him trying to engineer an escape, but it all goes wrong. That's it, really.
What's bowled the critics over and set them scurrying for their superlatives is director Edgar Wright's clever use of classic pop hits to choreograph and colour the action. One case in point: the crime lord's explanation of the details of an upcoming heist, all set to the rhythms of Dave Brubeck's 'Unsquare Dance', with syncopated gestures, tapping fingers and sudden eye movements. Through the first half of the film, this device works like a dream... Remember John Travolta's walk along the sidewalk at the introduction to 'Saturday Night Fever'? It's even better than that.
But then the violence kicks in. Oh boy. All that directorial wit is blown to bits as more and more people are brutalised, bludgeoned, and shot. There's a massive body-count in this film, and an insane level of gunplay. In the past, classic gangster films like 'Heat' or 'The Godfather Part 2' gave this sort of realistic violence a moral context that didn't celebrate the taking of human life, but showed the increasing corruption of those who did. By contrast, 'Baby Driver' is sentimental guff, As the violence increases, so the characters become increasingly two-dimensional and disposable. Perhaps (accidentally) that's the point of this film. Violence degrades everyone, including the imagination of everyone unfortunate to see films like this.
So yes, 'Baby Driver' is definitely clever- but by the end, you forget why you were enjoying it at the beginning.