I can safely say that if you are going to the cinema to see this movie do so with little or no prior knowledge. I was starkly surprised by concepts that were in this movie and it only adds to the overall experience if you have little in-depth knowledge of them. This movie is truly groundbreaking in my opinion, not only through the themes represented, but how it goes about exploring different ways to express such themes. With that prerequisite kept in mind if you are here to checking out what I thought of the movie after you have seen it, then please read ahead!
We follow ‘Baby’ (Ansel Elgort), believe it or not a rather young chap who is a getaway driver for bank robbery jobs. It quickly becomes clear that he is not doing it out of choice, rather he is paying off a debt to the leader of the squad (Kevin Spacey). with debts nearly paid and only a couple more drives left the end of the rainbow seems close, but is it ever that simple in this line of work?
Baby’s character is quite simply brilliantly developed, quiet, cool and collected throughout. It is unravelled and explored more and more throughout the movie and never is it forced down your throat at any point. Never is there a point in the movie where an unnecessary part of his backstory is given, everything has meaning and reason for the development of the plot and to feel more invested in the character. For me the quirkiest part of his character and from that actually the main concept of the movie, is that due to an earlier car accident he now suffers from tinnitus. The way he deals with this is by drowning out the sound with music from his I pod, this is then the soundtrack for the whole movie. And I have to say, what a soundtrack it is, directed and written by Edgar wright in some what of an unusual fashion. In that he already picked the soundtrack before the movie was shot, therefore each and every scene was shot to fit the music to perfection. When I say perfection, I mean it, in terms of pacing, mood and brilliant stop – start editing.
The getaway chases themselves are simply impeccable, and are the flagship of the movie with arguably the best chases I’ve ever witnessed. The angles that they managed to pull off are brilliant, coupled with the timing of the music make for such a great vibe. I know one may think that this movie is simply a gangster movie about a getaway driver, that it is, but so much more. The story line itself has some fabulous twists and turns (pardon the pun). The characters that are built through the various teams that Baby finds himself in are unique, intense and often quite unleashed (as you would expect, but more on that later).
Amongst the frantic pacing of the movie comes about a romantic subplot between Baby and Debora, a waitress at Baby’s local diner. I have to say, it started off a little over acted, cheesy and forced in my opinion. But, the onscreen relationship that was developed turned out to be one of the more heartwarming parts of the movie. It was not there for the sake of it, rather invested fully in the determination of the plot, giving us an outlet to understand Baby’s character further.
This movie is full-on, but it still gives you time to breath before the final flourish at the end. The twists that come about are bordering on Game of Thrones level surprises and they are simply brilliant. There are so many characters so delve into but, i’ll just mention a few because there are simply too many notables to mention them all.
Ansel Elgort – Baby
I’ve already spoken about him previously numerous times, but I honestly believe this movie will propel Ansel into the stratosphere. Like Miles Teller in Whiplash I think that this performance is Oscar worthy and only cements his versatility as an actor, hopefully giving him much more opportunities.
Jon Hamm – Buddy
I can not say I have seen this guy in much, but I was impressed. I was deeply invested in his character as he seemed the most sensitive and genuine out of all the people that Baby worked with. The way Jon develops this character and morphs it into something else (not mentioning plot lines) is brilliantly executed. His delivery is brilliant, and I recon that upon watching the movie again you would pick up on his nuances in his expressions and delivery.
Jon Bernthal – Griff
I am really not a fan of Mr Bernthal, in just about all his roles he simply plays the same character. I really doubt his flexibility and ability to shape up into different performances. Particularly in this one, he played the run of the mill bad guy with seriously little to him. I’m not saying he was shocking or didn’t bring believability to the role, but it stuck out like a sore thumb in amongst some great solo and indeed collective performances.
Edgar wright has really turned the tables here, bringing a refreshing concept to a movie which could very well have gotten lost in the crowd of the cops and robbers movie genre. With one of my personal favourite soundtracks ever, a brilliant, multi-layered plot (which is often hard to do in this genre without seeming forced) and an all-round great cast this truly is one of the best movies of the year so far for me. 8/10