I have honestly never been the biggest fan of Ansel Elgort. I don’t know why, so please don’t ask me for clarification, I’ve just always, always believed the roles he personally have played in the past could’ve all been portrayed by other actors. That is, until I saw Baby Driver, which single-handedly changed my mind about him. Maybe he needed the extra oomph to really understand the perfect role, but it’s better late than never. Let’s get into it, starting with the plot.
“Baby is a young and partially hearing impaired getaway driver who can make any wild move while in motion with the right track playing. It’s a critical talent he needs to survive his indentured servitude to the crime boss, Doc, who values his role in his meticulously planned robberies. However, just when Baby thinks he is finally free and clear to have his own life with his new girlfriend, Deborah, Doc coerces him back for another job. Now saddled with a crew of thugs too violently unstable to keep to Doc’s plans, Baby finds himself and everything he cares for in terrible danger. To survive and escape the coming maelstrom, it will take all of Baby’s skill, wits and daring, but even on the best track, can he make it when life is forcing him to face the music?” – IMDb
Baby Driver is both unique in its ability to tell a captivating story, as well as tell it in strange but alluring musical way. While this isn’t a true musical, music plays such a massive part in this film that it feels like a musical, so I’m inclined to include it as a musical for the end-of-year awards. That being said, I was a pretty big fan of this movie overall, which really surprised me. I had known people were talking about the movie, and I felt obligated enough to check it out, but the end result knocked me off my feet. Right now, this film matches the other highest rated films of the year.
These are just my first impressions, though. Let’s dig deep and break down Baby Driver to interpret the stars!
Title – Baby Driver
Year – 2017
Genres – Action, Crime, Music
Possible Awards – Musical, Surprising
PEOPLE SCORE – 10/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting, and thankfully, the acting was noticeably great. These characters were diverse, unique, and most importantly, memorable. I am convinced that nobody else can play these characters. They are perfect for these roles. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot, I was impressed. They had reason, they had purpose, they had history, and I love it. Everyone in this film really worked well together. Their chemistry was off the charts.
WRITING SCORE – 10/10
Dialogue – 2|Balanced – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue, which was actually really well thought out. There’s a lot of memorable lines, and just the way people speak is hard to forget. I would certainly say that the film is also very well-balanced and consistently holds a strong focus on the story at hand. When it comes to the story, this film knows what it’s doing. Not only is the story alone interesting, but it sticks with you because it has meaning and purpose. In my opinion, I also think this film feels fresh and pretty darn original. Was this movie interesting? Of course it was, don’t be silly. I was all-in for this one.
BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 2|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Next up, we’re taking a look at behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals. In this case, the visuals were pretty standard and typical to what you’d expect. Nothing blows you away, nothing looks horrible, either. It is what it is, folks. The director actually did a really good job here. Completely based off of what they did, the movie looks and feels great and authentic on a different level. Well done! The editing was pretty darn impressive in this film. I’m always impressed when something surprising shows up thanks to the editor, and that is what you get here. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as-advertised, which is good. This doesn’t happen often, but I’m awfully glad when it does. The music in this film is pretty fantastic. So good, in fact, that I really wouldn’t mind listening to a soundtrack of the film just to hear them again. Yep, yep, yep!
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Lastly, we’re gonna talk about the falling action, which was really great. It had a nice little calming down moment and a definite returning to a new norm moment as well, so that’s good.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 9/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 2|Impulse/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 2
Next up, we’re asking if this film is any good to be considered entertaining when all is said and done. First up, we ask if it is rewatchable, to which I say…yes! I would have no issues checking out this movie again! Is this a film I would consider fun while watching? Oh yeah, absolutely. Whatever technical problems the movie may or may not have, it is definitely fun, and that’s something no one can take away from it. Is this a film I would consider buying? Totally, I would love to buy this movie! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? Maybe, I’m not sure. I might have a normal discussion about it, but I won’t be losing my mind to tell them about it, either. Does this suck you in, though? Oh, definitely. I never once had a problem getting lured into everything that was happening in this film.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 50/50
Action – 10|Driving – 10|Ansel Elgort – 10|Title Specific – 10|Halfway Decent – 10
Onto the specialty questions that I asked before seeing the movie. First of all, how is the action? Oh, the action is great. Mixed with all that music, it’s hard not to love every second. Next, how was the driving aspect? Pretty great, I can’t wait until this Baby character is added to the Fast & Furious franchise. Just kidding, but that would be cool. Next up, we have to ask how well Ansel Elgort performed his duties. Without a doubt, this is the best performance I’ve seen from him bar none. Now, I wasn’t super sure what this film was about before I saw it, so one of the things I wanted to know was…what’s up with the title? Easy peasy – Baby is his name and he’s a driver. Finally, was it halfway decent? Very much so.