Edgar Wright may be one of the best directors making major motion pictures right now - especially given that he continues to make amazing films out of absolutely sub-par ideas. His best movies include a zombie apocalypse, a buddy cop spoof, the end of the world, and a live-action adaptation of a popular comic book series. Nothing in that formulaic list sounds particularly interesting to me, but to Edgar Wright, it apparently sounds like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, all of which are ingenious and some of which have already been dubbed classics. This summer, he graces us with another unremarkable idea: a getaway driver and hopeless romantic endeavors to escape his life of crime for better things. And yet, Edgar Wright delivers Baby Driver, probably the best film of the summer, which everyone should watch.
I can type away all day, rattling off everything Baby Driver does well, but let's focus on the director. The reason: Baby Driver's plot is one any filmmaker could have explored, but Edgar Wright is not your standard filmmaker and his directorial decisions speak volumes about the distinction between amateur and expert filmmaking. For this particular film, Wright crafts a unique feeling with the strategic use of music and the concept of rhythmic editing - in which cuts and action beats are driven either literally by music or by a general sense of rhythm, as if to suggest that the world we live in operates within that tonal framework. This guiding rhythm is powerful and allows Wright to snap story beats together elegantly, tightly focusing his scenes and starkly spacing them out. It also works because the film never feels limited by the walls of a fixed plot, instead mirroring the loose and fluid actions of its characters. By all accounts, Baby Driver is a character driven movie, and only needs the support of a strong cast and well-directed action to flourish, both of which Wright has masterfully orchestrated.
I would strongly recommend this film to anyone 13 or older, and especially to people thinking about entering the film industry. Between the character performances, directorial style, fantastic incorporation of film score, and sharp timing, Baby Driver offers everything we can hope for in a high-stakes film.