20 minutes in to this and I was totally convinced I was watching one of the best films of the year.
The opening scene is an amazing feat of car choreography – perhaps the best I have ever seen. And the follow-up long take accompanying Baby on the coffee run is a work of genius.
But having hit these peaks, the film never reached those heights afterwards. For a film about a driver, he does less and less of that as the story (such as there is) progresses. At one point he pursues his get-away by running, and by the end he actually isn’t driving the car anymore – someone else is and he’s in the passenger seat. From such a strong start, it was disappointing to see it fizzle out.
And that’s before we get to the topic of the female characters. The one woman who is part of the ‘gang’ is named Darling, for goodness’ sake, and is a terrible stereotype. The only other female role of note is that played by Lily James, as – I kid you not – Baby’s manic pixie dream girl. She has no immediate family, she works in a diner, she waits for him even after he lets her down on more than one occasion. It’s a real disappointment that this is still happening.
I mean, I enjoyed Baby Driver while I was watching it, and I can see what Edgar Wright was trying to do, but I would probably watch the first 20 minutes again if it screens on television and then happily go to bed.