The summer blockbuster season has become somewhat of a bore for me. The major films released this summer have been generic, bland, and unexciting as they can be. To prove my point, the fifth Transformers film was just released to audiences' and critics' dismay everywhere. During the summer, I rarely even find myself at the theater due to the little variety of choice and depth of whatever hundred million dollar tentpole film is currently plaguing every theater around me. I had even stopped watching movies almost entirely due to this fatigue. I am happy to say that Baby Driver is the film that rejuvenated my love for movies.
Preemptively, I will tell you that I will give you no plot description of the film. I knew next to nothing about the film besides the fact it was a heist film. I highly recommend going into the theater with a blind eye to reading or looking up anything about the film besides the showtimes. (Yes, that means no trailers too!) I cannot possibly describe this film. Yes, it is a basic crime and heist film. However, it breaks so many genre conventions that it is unacceptable to disrespectful tot he film to refine it to one genre. The best comparison I could give is if Heat, Bonnie and Clyde, An American in Paris, Reservoir Dogs, and Drive had a cinematic orgy and produced this child. The film is so fast-paced that you can hardly breathe. The suspension of disbelief, or how much you actually believe the story that is taking place on the screen, is flawless within the film. I came into the theater with about a million and a half different thoughts running through my head, and every one of them was silenced when the lights were dimmed. In all of the quick action on the screen, the film makes time for a real heart and story in its pseudo-musical style. This is executed by some of the sharpest and effortless editing and cinematography that this film critic has ever seen.
The casting in Baby Driver was absolutely divine. I cannot think of one character or actor who was misplaced or a weak link within the film. Writer-Director Edgar Wright delivers the sharpest dialogue and story of his illustrious career. That is saying something incredibly large coming from the director of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The World's End. Wright cements himself as one of the best minds in cinema. I mourn for his version of Ant-Man that Marvel canned after the studio would not allow him the creative control he was used to. Wright has been working on Baby Driver as an entire project since 1995, aka the entirety of my life. To see his uncompromised vision come to the screen as a real joy. It is also a real message to producers to stay the hell out of visionary directors' way (I'm looking at you, Disney) Edgar Wright can not only direct any genre but spawn entirely new ones as he does with this movie.
There are very rare occasions where a film can take me from cinematic nihilism to enjoying the true art that goes into these incredible pictures. I haven't felt a true joy from a film till the two or three times I saw La La Land. There are absolutely no faults with this film. It wins not only a perfect score from me but the (tenative) rank of the best film of the year.