Baby Driver (Edgar Wright, 2017)

What's it about? Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for his boss (Kevin Spacey) and various gang members (including Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx and Eiza Gonzalez). Constantly listening to tunes on his iPod, he perhaps get a chance to escape his life of crime when he meets waitress Debora (Lily James).

Is it any good? So this is an car chase action movie, but set to music. That makes it a musicar-l, I guess. A musiCARl? Eh? Yes? AMIRITE??!! 
(WARNING!! Readers of a nervous disposition better strap themselves in for some reckless car-related punnery). 
At first glance, it looks and sounds very sleek and shiny, with a bank robbery and a street scene smoothly choreographed to the tunes on the soundtrack. So far, so good. But it's a flashy gimmick that can't really sustain itself and once we settle in for the ride, its performance is actually bit stop-start, with some awkward gear changes and a few aimless diversions along the way. It never seems entirely sure of the direction it wants to take, beyond looking and sounding good, and the warning light soon comes on as it runs out of gas and ends up puttering to a rather unsatisfying stop in the ditch. The tunes still work however, and all those carried along for the ride do look cool. Ultimately, the ambition of the design is commendable, pity the assembly of the doesn't quite do it justice.

Anything else I should know? If you find the opening scene familiar, that might be because Wright has already put this idea on screen in the music video for Mint Royale's Blue Song, starring comedians Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Michael Smiley and Nick Frost. Restricted to 3 minutes or so, it works quite well.

Elsewhere, Wright has explained his love for the car chase movies (such as The Driver and To Live and Die in LA) that influenced Baby Driver, several of which he put together as guest programmer for the BFI under the banner Car Car Land. Truth be told, these are all better than Baby Driver. Then again, I don't even like cars, so what do I know?

What does the Fonz think? Third gear. 

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