Baby Driver has been in cinemas in the United States for more than two weeks now, but it was only released in Australia yesterday so I haven't had a chance to review this movie until now. Depending on which company has distribution rights, we can wait weeks, or even months. As a blogger without any following, there's no way I can get into press screenings, so I've waited for weeks like everyone else to see what could be the hottest release of the summer blockbusters.
Edgar Wright is in a league of his own when telling a story using few words. Every frame, every line, every sound is used to deliver maximum information, reaching an economy of storytelling most directors can only dream of.
Nowhere is this more present than in his latest film, Baby Driver. This heist driven action flick is the embodiment of Wright's iconic visual storytelling.
Before we continue, this review contains mild spoilers of the film. If you haven't seen it yet, what are you doing, go to your local cinema! Spoilers ahead, after the break.
First let's look at the economy of storytelling. The first scene with any substantial dialog is about five minutes in and the visuals have already told us volumes.
We know it's set in Atlanta, not because of a lazy skyline shot or an even lazier title card, but because we catch glimpses of police cars with Atlanta in big letters.
We know the titular character Baby (Ansel Elgort) doesn't take himself too seriously because he's rocking out to music on an old school iPod while acting as a getaway driver. It's clear he's the best at what he does by the precise movement in time to said songs.
The current trend of shoehorning 70s and 80s music into every movie since Guardians of the Galaxy has been turned on its head with Wright instead building the scenes around the music.
Each action sequence is meticulously staged to move in time with its piece of music, moving rapidly during the chorus and stopping to take breath as the interlude begins. The interweaving of music and action is so seamless that you might not even see it on first viewing.
Wright manages to pack in so much detail that it's impossible to catch it all in one sitting. Every detail, right down to the name of the nondescript cafe Baby visits (Octane, natch) is obsessively detailed to provide the most immersive 113 minutes you'll see in cinemas this year.
Baby Driver is Edgar Wright at the top of his game. All the sound and visual precision is turned up to 11, taking his signature style and painting an absolute masterpiece. The star studded cast make their characters sing, creating a symphony so precisely delivered that you will be left in awe.